Wednesday 6 July 2011

Chinese Root Vegetable Cake and Week of the Carrot

Due to some poor ordering over the last two weeks, I have an overabundance of carrots in my fridge. They're delicious sweet little carrots, so I don't want them to go to waste. My challenge this week is to try and cook as many meals as possible that use some carrot, preferably in new and interesting ways!

Grilled Vegetable Cake
For no reason this morning the words "turnip cake" popped into my head and I had no idea what they even meant. Some googling reminded me of a tasty Chinese dim sum made from grated and steamed daikon radish. I've been reading a lot of japanese cooking blogs this week, so maybe my subconscious mind came up with the idea while I was asleep last night. Such is the nature of inspiration!

I don't have any daikon, so here's a very unorthodox version using up the root vegetables in the fridge - a turnip from 500m², part of a large parsnip, a pink radish and a couple of small carrots. The pink radish was grated almost to a paste on the microplane, and the rest very finely grated on the box grater. Then some finely diced Chinese sausage, green spring onions and chopped dried shittake mushrooms (rehydrated) were added. The last step was some rice, tapioca and potato flours (you could use plain rice flour, but I had only a little bit so I had to improvise) mixed with water (including the mushroom soaking water) and a pinch of salt and white pepper to bind it all together. Then into the pressure cooker to steam for 20 minutes. Don't ask me for measurements, I don't know, but my guess is that there was 250ml water and about ¾ cup of flours. Initially I was going to cook this in a small rectangular baking dish, but it *just* didn't fit the pressure cooker, so it ended up in a Pyrex bowl - it was thicker than I would have liked, so I just added 5 minutes to the cooking time.

I lose the challenge because of a dirty plate.
This is the finished cake.

It's very nice if you slice it and grill it in a non-stick frying pan until it's crispy on the outside, then served with a splash of soy or chilli sauce. Oh, and it's vegan if you leave out the sausage!


Merewether Garden said...

Love your thinking of using all your seasonal veges, no matter what the meal. The carrot cake looks appealing too!

Anonymous said...

Well that would be the best quote of the day "Vegan if you left out the sausage"!

Thanks for the giggle :)