Time flies, the Chinese New Year is coming and my wife suggested to prepare some festival food for celebration. There are a lot of traditional foods like Crispy Pastry Dumpling (Yau Kok), Sesame balls (Gin Dui), Glutinous Rice Cake (Lin Gou) and Turnip Rice pudding (Lo Bak Gou).
In the good old days, most of these festival foods were homemade by our moms or bought from restaurants. Since we are free this year, we decided to make our own “Lo Bak Gou".
Without any experience, we have no clue to start with. Based on our vanishing memories on the tastes and how moms prepared the “Lo Bak Gou", together with information available in the Internet, we finally “copy and paste" our own version of recipe. Frankly speaking, the taste of the “Lo Bak Gou" is not that important, we just hope that the work will become another good memory for our little boy.
畢竟是第一次製作，總覺有點無從入手。就是靠著兒時母親手做糕點的點滴回憶 – 那些味道，那些手勢；當然還需要網路上的資訊，最終都抄作成自家版本，它的味道如何，其實也不是最重要，只希望它能成為小朋友的美好回憶，承傳下去。
Ingredients 材料 Amount 份量 Turnip 蘿蔔 1,500 g 克 Rice flour 粘米粉 250 g 克 Corn starch 粟粉 20 g 克 Chinese preserved sausage 臘腸 3 pcs 條 Dried shrimp 蝦米 60 g 克 Mushroom 冬菇 6 pcs 條 Chicken Broth 雞湯 80 ml 毫升 Water 清水 220 ml 毫升
Seasoning 調味料 Amount 份量 White pepper 胡椒粉 0.25 tsp 茶匙 Salt 鹽 0.5 tsp 茶匙 Sugar 砂糖 1.5 tsp 茶匙 Chicken powder 雞粉 1.5 tsp 茶匙 Chinese rice wine 米酒 1.5 tsp 茶匙 Soy sauce 生抽 1 tsp 茶匙 Sesame oil 麻油 1 tsp 茶匙
What we needed for “Lo Bak Gou" 蘿蔔糕所需材料
- Wash the mushrooms and dried shrimps. Soak in water and dried for subsequent use. 冬菇、蝦米用水洗淨，浸軟，再抹乾。
- Cut the dried shrimps into small dices. 蝦米切小粒。
- Season the mushrooms with rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. Steam for 5 minutes and cut into dices. 用米酒、生抽及麻油把冬菇醃好，隔水蒸5分鐘，切粒。
- Wash the chinese preserved sausage. Steam for 10 minutes and cut into dices. 臘腸洗淨隔水蒸10分鐘，切粒。
- Peel & shred the turnip. 蘿蔔去皮、刨絲。
- Mix the rice flour and corn starch with chicken broth and water 用雞湯，清水把粘米粉、粟粉渾合成米䊢。
- Fry the dried shrimps and mushrooms with hot oil. 熱油爆香蝦米、冬菇粒，撈起備用。
- Fry the shredded turnip with sugar to remove the bitter taste. 起鑊炒香蘿蔔絲，加入砂糖去除蘿蔔的苦澀味。
- Sprinkle with salt, white pepper and chicken powder. 加入鹽、胡椒粉、雞粉增加味道。
- When it is about to be fully cooked, stir in the preserved sausage dices, dried shrimps and mushrooms dices. 差不多熟時再加入臘腸粒、蝦米及冬菇粒，繼續炒多一會。
- Slowly add the rice flour mixture. Stir thoroughly and pour into the cake tray. 最後加入米䊢撈勻，倒進錫紙糕盤。
- Steam it for 60 minutes and adjust the cooking time as appropriate. 隔水蒸60分鐘。視乎情況，時間可稍作增減。
All the preparation have been made, we are ready and go (My boy will be one of the camera men) …
一切預備好，全家動員開工 (小朋友會負責部分拍攝工作) …
Shred the turnip 蘿蔔刨絲
Fry the dried shrimp with hot oil 爆香蝦米
Mix the shredded turnip with sugar, salt, white pepper and chicken powder 起鑊炒香蘿蔔絲，加入砂糖、鹽、胡椒粉、雞粉
Add diced chinese preserved sausage and dried shrimp 加入臘腸粒、蝦米
While my wife is mixing the ingredients, she received a call from her friend saying that mushroom may leave the pudding a little bit sour. Recalled that my mother had not added mushrooms as well and so we finally removed the mushroom from our recipe.
當太太正在混合材料時，剛巧收到朋友致電說冬菇會令蒸好的糕帶有一點酸味。回想老人家以前做的蘿蔔糕也好像沒有加入冬菇，最後大家一致通過 – 抽起冬菇。
With some struggling, the “Lo Bau Gou" is ready.
Freshly steamed “Lo Bak Gou" 新鮮熱辣的蒸蘿蔔糕
Sprinkle with Japanese seaweed to create our “Exotic flavor".
Exotic flavor “Lo Bak Gou" 另類風味蒸蘿蔔糕
I was very surprised with our first homemade “Lo Bak Gou" – at least it is not watery as we initial suspected. The presentation seems to be very good as well, just like those bought from restaurants. The freshly made “Lo Bak Gou" looked so yummy that I immediately got a few bites. My wife preferred fried “Lo Bak Gou" served with “a lot of" white pepper.
Fried Turnip Rice Pudding 香煎蘿蔔糕
Being a perfectionist, our “Lo Bak Gou" seems to be too sweet while taste of the preserved sausage is a little bit plain and not chewy.
I will not give up! All those shortcomings are now my driving forces to do it again for my dear lucky friends!
By comparing our homemade “Lo Bak Gou" against those available from the restaurants/supermarkets with respect to cost and time required (roughly HKD 140 and around three hours respectively), it seems that the efforts spent may be hard to justify.
Anyway, as I do treasure the precious moment shared with my family in preparing our wonderful “Lo Bak Gou", then why should I care about the efforts anymore?
吃著吃著，卻又發覺蘿蔔糕有點過甜；臘腸味道又稍嫌淡了一點，口感不太強，對於一向追求完美的我，這或多或少的瑕疵，又馬上成為我要再嘗試的動力 … (我的朋友們啊，你們有口福了)！