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Get the Recipe for Chai Tau Kueh, a Fried Radish Cake with Prawns, Beansprouts and Duck Eggs

Prawns and bean sprouts
Eat and Drink
July 2017
Reading time 2

This dish comes from Malaysia

This fried radish cake with prawns, beansprouts and duck eggs is one of my favourite street foods in Malaysia. I usually track one down in the weekly night markets known as Pasar Malam.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 garlic chives or spring onions, cut into strips
  • 180g raw king prawns
  • 2 tbsp preserved turnip (optional)
  • 2 duck eggs, beaten
  • 180g beansprouts
  • For the radish cake:
  • 600g radish/daikon or turnip, grated
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Chinese sausage or 8 rashers smoked
  • streaky bacon, finely diced
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 230g rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the seasoning:
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp caster sugar
  • Large pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce (optional)

For the radish cake, place the grated radish or turnip in a wok or saucepan with 250ml water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the water has slightly evaporated and the radish has a slushy consistency. Remove from the wok and set aside in a separate bowl.

Clean the wok, then heat two tablespoons vegetable oil and fry the bacon or Chinese sausage with the spring onions for about five minutes. Tip the cooked radish into the wok, mix well and add the rice flour, cornflour, sugar and salt. Working quickly, mix well and keep the mixture moving around the wok to cook the flour for about five minutes. Turn off the heat.

Choose a dish big enough to fit into the wok and oil it with a little vegetable oil. Tip the radish mixture into the dish and pack it down with the back of a spoon. Smooth the top as much as possible. Place the dish on top of a steam rack over the wok, fill the wok below with water, bring to the boil, cover and steam on a high heat for 45 minutes. Check the level of water often so that it doesn’t run dry. Remove the cake from the heat and leave to cool. Place in the fridge for about two hours or overnight. This will ensure the cake is firm enough to cut.

Take 450g of the radish cake and cut it into one-inch strips and then into half-inch cubes. The remaining cake can be frozen for two months, or kept in the fridge for another two days and fried up for breakfast (see introduction)!

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a wok or saucepan over a medium heat and fry the cake cubes until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Place them in a separate bowl.

Mix all the seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl.

Using the same wok or saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and add the garlic and chives or spring onions and fry for a minute. Add the prawns and preserved turnip, if using, and fry until the prawns start to turn pink. Add the cubes of radish cake along with the seasoning mix, and make sure they are well incorporated. 

Pour the eggs over the mixture like an omelette and let it sit for a minute. Add the beansprouts and stir fry the mixture for about two minutes, until the eggs are cooked through. Serve immediately with more Sriracha, if desired.

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