First of all… my blog has turned 1!! Yay *throws confetti* Over the year, I’ve written 120 posts including this one, which is more productive than I’ve expected. Needless to say, it has helped me widen my cooking/baking repertoire and opened doors that I didn’t even think of opening. In less than a week’s time, we’ll find out if this humble blog has gained enough votes to win the Bloggers’ Choice at the Time Out KL Food Awards. Upgraded from a mere spectator last year to a Nominee this year, it’s not a bad achievement. Wish me luck.
I have indeed promised another recipe that a lot of you were curious about. How many of you have seen Purple Carrots? I, for one was blissfully ignorant until my sister posted up her experimental recipe of Purple Carrot Cake. No, not the Sweet Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, but the Chinese Loh Bak Gou (萝卜糕), made with Rice flour and Radish.
Upon further research, I found out that carrots were originally yellow, white, red and purple until the Dutch growers bred an orange variety in the 17th Century – it was said to honour William of Orange. What?! I say bring back the original colours (especially the purple)! Not only they are prettier (which is always important), they also contains higher amount of antioxidants that other purple fruits and vegetables have, such as blueberries and red grapes.
I have to give plenty of credits to my sister for bringing back a pack of these Purple Carrots for both my mother and I. So far I have not seen them locally, so if you come across any, do let me know. My mom did the same thing with the carrots but only gave me a little bit, hmmph! Of course, I had to make more. Are we the first bunch of people who made Purple Carrot Cake then? Probably.
The most important thing for making a good Radish/Carrot cake is the ratio of Rice flour:Water. It’s always 1:2. That way, you’ll get a firm enough texture which cuts and fries well. The reason I’ve chosen to cut the carrots this way was to minimize staining on my chopping board (or grater, for that matter). By the way, you can substitute this with a medium-sized Radish for the traditional Radish cake.
Purple Carrot Cake:
4 Small Purple Carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
50g Minced Pork
2 cloves Garlic, minced
15g Dried Shrimps, dehydrated, finely chopped
1 1/4 Cup of Rice Flour
2 1/2 Cup of Water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix the Rice flour and water in a bowl and set aside until needed.
Heat some oil in a big skillet, and fry Garlic, Dried Shrimps, Minced Pork and Carrots together until Carrots are starting to soften. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the heat off and pour the flour mixture directly into the pan. Add a little more salt and pepper. It should be mildly seasoned so you can have it plain. Stirring continuously until the mixture thickens. If there’s not enough heat to do so, you can restart the heat but keep it low to prevent clumping.
Prepare a cake pan (round or square), steaming equipment. Pour the mixture into the cake pan carefully, and tap the pan on the counter top a few times to knock out the air. Steam for 1 hour or until firm. Cool for an hour before unmolding.
At this point, you can either eat it plain, or pan fry a few slices like I did. It’s easy, just heat a little oil in a pan and fry both sides until golden. Personally this is my favourite way to enjoy it. The crispiness provides a nice mouth feel.
You could also cut it into smaller pieces and make Teochew style Fried Radish Cake aka Chai Tau Kueh (菜头粿). Except well, we know it’s not a Radish cake. Although this dish is generally made with just plain radish cake, the addition of dried shrimps and minced pork won’t hurt either! Here’s a simple recipe from Rasa Malaysia.
Last but not least, you could consider the East Meets West Poached Egg Dish which I blogged about yesterday. The possibilities are endless! Oh, in case you were wondering, they taste just like normal carrots!
So what do you think? Too weird for you, or would you be eager to try?
Thank you all for your support so far, and let’s look forward to a better and yummier year!