Pescatarian/Gluten-Free Daikon Cakes

Daikon Cakes with Soy SauceDaikon or radish cakes are often a favorite at dim sum. My old co-worker J loved them so much that he categorically denied the existence of pork in them. The first time we went to dim sum together he tried to order them and I asked “I thought you didn’t eat pork?” He muttered something in response that indicated he had no idea there was pork, in the form of Chinese sausage or ham in them. The next time we were at dim sum we had a large group and everyone had been laughing as I helped J sort out what had pork in it–virtually everything but the chicken feet! He started to reach for the daikon cakes, but (in retrospect, I probably should have looked the other way) I reminded him there was pork. He looked crestfallen. Clearly, in his mind, these were pork free. Well, here’s for you, J, a pork free version of daikon cakes!

As I told Kay, the owner of the amazing Crow’s Wing Spa about these, she pointed out that they are also an excellent naturally gluten-free dim sum treat! As a committed omnivore in every sense of the word, I rarely cook things that fit dietary needs, so I was proud that this one catered to the needs of two very wonderful people I know!

What really inspired these though is my P-patch. In that I have only successfully grown my two kinds of radish (daikon and French breakfast). And exactly two peas. They were two very tasty peas though. And I’ve got radishes coming out my ears. So I decided to create the single furthest thing from a radish I could make from a radish: dim sum radish cakes! Using shiitake mushrooms and vegetable oil in place of the ham actually worked perfectly, so it became pescatarian–still need the shrimp paste to make it delicious!

Daikon Cakes

This takes a lot of time to make, but is great for making in large batches and storing for quick, fast meals. Plan to start in the evening and you’ll be ready for breakfast the next day!


2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Shrimp Paste, You can either use shrimp paste (as I did) or soaked, dried and chopped dried shrimp
1 pound Daikon Radish, grated (you can do this with a cuisinart if you want)
10 Dried Shittake Mushrooms, Soak in hot water for 15 minutes, discard stems, chop into small (pill sized) pieces
1 1⁄2 cups Rice Flour
1 cup Water
Salt & Pepper, Add to taste
Red Pepper, Add to taste
Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

Step 1: Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a medium to large skillet.
Step 2: Add the shrimp paste and cook for a few minutes, try to integrate it with the oil
Step 3: Add the shiitakes and the daikon to the pan, let it cook, stirring often, until the moisture is almost all gone (it might even start to stick to the pan, a good sign that it is done). Probably about 20 minutes.
Step 4: While the daikon mix cooks, whisk the rice flour into the water, eliminating all lumps.
Step 5: Combine the daikon mix and the flour mix. Adjust to your taste preference with salt, pepper and red pepper.
Step 6: Spray a 9in square (or similar) pan (pyrex or cake). Fill with mixture. Should be about one inch thick. Try to spread it evenly.
Step 7: Set a large bamboo steamer over a wok or place a bowl upside down in a large pot and the pan on top. Add water and steam the cake for 45 minutes.
Step 8: Remove from steamer, allow to cool for 30-60 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen, and invert on a plate. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 9: Slice into individual size slices.
Step 10: Heat sesame oil to high in a non stick pan. Place one slice in, cook till brown and crispy, flip and repeat on other side. Serve!

3 Responses

  1. fantastic! I have some of these sitting in my freezer as we speak (or is it turnip cake? dang, I can’t remember…).

  2. can you clarify the quantity of rice flour please (1 1/2…) assume its cups ?
    cant wait to make this

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