Chai Tow Kway – Fried Carrot Cake Recipe
Surprisingly enough, this savoury carrot cake contains no carrot at all. Instead, the core ingredients of the cake are rice flour and white radish. The mixture is steamed, then cut into cubes and fried with garlic, eggs and preserved radish. On discovery, we were told by hawkers that dish was invented in Singapore in the 1960’s adapting Chinese recipes.
Commonly referred to as ‘chai tow kway’ in Singapore, this amazing dish can be found in almost every hawker centre. It is served black (fried with sweet dark soya sauce) or white (original).
Radish Cake Ingredients
- 600g of shredded White Radish (Daikon)
- 3 Tablespoons of Water
- 200g Rice Flour
- 250ml Water
Stir Frying Ingredients
- 2 Tbsp. of Peanut Oil (reserve another 1 tsp for later)
- 1 Tbsp. of Shallot Oil
- 2 Tbsp. of Garlic (diced)
- 2 Tbsp. of Lap Cheong (Chinese sausage) (diced)
- 1 Tbsp. of Preserved Turnip (Chai Poh)
- 2 tsp. of Chilli Paste
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp. of Fish Sauce
- Dash of Ground White Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. of Spring Onions/Scallions (sliced)
- 1 handful of Bean Sprouts
- 1 Red Chilli (sliced)
- Spring onions (for garnishing)
- Add 3 tablespoons of water to the shredded radish. Steam radish in a wok until it turns translucent. This should take about 25 – 30 mins on low flame. Take radish out and leave it aside to cool.
- To prepare the flour mixture, add a pinch of salt and sugar into the flour. Mix flour into 250ml of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly to remove any lumps.
- Combine the cooled radish with the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Pour your final mixture into a cake tin and steam with a wok for 30 – 35 minutes over a medium-high flame.
- Take the radish cake out and leave it to cool for a few hours or overnight in a refrigerator. This will allow the cake to firm up.
- To stir fry, cut out 1 quarter of the radish cake and keep the rest in the refrigerator.
- Cut the quarter into smaller chunks.
- Heat peanut oil and shallot oil in a “seasoned” wok on medium-high heat. Add in your radish cake.
- Fry till the edges are brown and crispy looking (if you prefer a crunchier texture on the outside, leave it to brown further).
- Add in garlic, lap cheong and preserved turnip. At this stage, you might find that the wok is a little dry. If that’s the case, add another teaspoon of oil. Fry till garlic is fragrant.
- Add the chilli paste. Stir ingredients and add the eggs in. Add the fish sauce and a dash of white pepper.
- Toss in the sliced red chillies and some spring onions. Fry till the egg cooks.
- Add the remaining sliced spring onions and a handful of bean sprouts in and fry for a further 5-10 seconds.
- Turn the flame off. Give a quick stir before plating up.
- Garnish with spring onions.
Photo credit: Ruth Ellison, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2882306