The Lunar New Year officially begins on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, and culminates with the Lantern Festival on February 5th! The celebration marks the transition of zodiac signs from the Year of the Tiger to the Year of the Rabbit. Quynh Tu, RDN, CDCES, shares her recipe for taro cake, a Cantonese dish made from vegetable taro.
Recipe background provided by Quynh:
Taro Cake is also called “Wu Tao Gou” in Cantonese. There are many varieties of “Gou” (糕) in Cantonese cooking. “Gou” is usually a type of flour-based batter and steamed recipes, can be savory or sweet. The word “Gou” happened to have the same pronunciation with the word “promotion” (高陞), which is a commonly use greeting and lucky phrase during Lunar New Year. Therefore, making “Gou” for New Year celebration is a very popular tradition for many and in some family is a must have.
Quynh usually makes Taro Cake or radish cake as gift to family members and friends during Lunar New Year celebration. For her family, it is also a New Year’s Day breakfast tradition. Taro cake are also popular in times other than New Year. You can find “Wu Tao Gou” in all Dim Sum restaurants. In Vietnam, it continues to be a popular breakfast choice around the Chinese community in Saigon.
Taro, peeled and diced to ½ inches size, 3 cups (14 oz)
Rice flour, 3 cups
Tapioca flour, 1 cup
Chinese sausage, diced, 2 links (3 oz)
Green onions, minced, ½ cup
Water, 5 cups
Salt, 1 tsp
Cooking oil, 1 Tbsp
Stove top steamer set with cover
Loaf pan, 1.5 lb
- Mixed all ingredients well in a non-stick pot except green onion.
- Put on stove at medium heat. Continue to stir to avoid forming of lumpy dough.
- Add green onion after 10 -15 minutes.
- Continue to stir for another 5 to 10 minutes or when mixture started to lightly thicken (about the thickness of muffin batter).
- Transfer batter to loaf pan.
- Steam for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Removed from steamer and brush top with additional cooking oil.
- Allowed to cool.
Cook and Serve:
- Sliced to 1/3 inches thickness slices.
- Pan fries with small amount of oil until light brown and crispy on both sides.
- Add egg, top with sauté green onion and garlic(optional)
- Chinese sausage – Can substitute with ground meat, or dried shrimps. You can also pre-sauté them to have bring out more flavor.
- Green onion – Can substitute with cilantro or chopped leek.
- Cut back on stove top mixing time – Heat half of the total water needed to about 150 ∘F. Mixed all ingredients in the other half of room temperature water as directed for 5 minutes, slowly add in warm water. This will cut back 5 to 10 minutes of total stove top mixing time.
- Pan size – Can also use 9 inches round cake pan for shorter steaming time (35-45 minutes).