CARROTS IN RICE CAKE IN CHINESE (HU LUO BO GAO–)
An excellent alternative to the more frequent and traditional Chinese turnip cake, the Hu Luo Bo Gao (or carrot rice cake, in Cantonese) uses carrots and daikon radish. This recipe has a comparable taste and color using carrots, a more familiar and accessible vegetable, but it’s much easier to find.
When it comes to the Cantonese dialect, the pronunciation is “lo bak go” for those of you who are familiar with Chinatowns and the like. If you’ve read our classic Cantonese Lo Bak Go recipe, you’ll notice the changes in writing and pronunciation.
As a result, the combination of ginger, scallions, and pork works incredibly nicely with regular old carrots. It works, as demonstrated by Judy’s Carrot Ginger Pork Buns! You’ll need to combine rice flour and the correct spices to make this dish a little more unique than the typical lo bak go served in Chinese restaurants or at grandma’s house for Chinese New Year.
- 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil (2 tsp. for greasing the pan)
- 5 ounces of 70% lean ground pork
- 1 tbsp. of ginger (freshly grated)
- 12 oz. of grated carrots
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 2-2½ cups of water
- 1½ tsp. of salt
- ½ tsp. of white pepper
- 1 tsp. of sesame oil
- 5 whole scallions (chopped)
- 1½ cup rice of flour
- 1½ tbsp. of cornstarch
- Toss the ground pork in a wok with 2 tbsp. Of hot vegetable oil and cook for a few seconds until crispy. For 30 seconds, cook on high heat. Using medium heat, fry the pork until it is no longer pink. Mix in the freshly grated ginger for about a minute to ensure it’s well-combined.
- Then, add 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine and the grated carrots. Add 2 cups of heated water and continue to stir-fry the carrots for an additional 30 seconds. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes.
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, and a half-teaspoon fresh powdered white pepper to taste. Stir occasionally and simmer for 3 minutes. Simmer for one minute, remove from heat, stirring in the chopped scallions.
- Leave as much of the cooking liquid in the pan as you can after removing the pork, carrots, and scallions. Measure out 1 2/3 cups of water, then add extra water as needed to get there (395ml).
- After combining the carrot mixture with the rice flour and cornstarch, add a total of 1 2/3 cups of liquid and stir until there are no visible lumps of flour. Set aside for now. In a 9-inch glass loaf pan, cover all sides evenly with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil.
- A steaming rack and adequate water are necessary to start your steamer or wok. For 60 minutes of steaming, 2 to 3 quarts of water should suffice. Begin by slowly boiling the water.
- Pour the carrot and rice flour mixture into the oiled loaf pan and stir until it is well combined. Place the loaf pan on the steaming rack as soon as possible—cover and steam for 60 minutes on medium heat.
- The carrot is done when the bottom of the loaf can be readily penetrated with a thin chopstick without the chopstick being coated in batter. Place the cooling rack over the loaf pan. Allow 30 minutes of relaxation. After steaming, a thin layer of water will remain on the carrot rice cake’s surface. This is normal. The loaf will absorb it.
- You may either enjoy your carrot rice cake right away or save it in the refrigerator for later. Remove the carrot rice cake from the loaf pan when ready to serve it. To remove the loaf from the pan, run a knife down the sides of the loaf pan and flip it over onto a cutting board.
- Slice the bread into 1/2-inch thick pieces and cook in a nonstick or frying pan with a little oil until warm and crispy on the edges. Your Carrot Rice Cake should accompany the oyster sauce and chili oil!