Tag Archives: turnip cake

Dim Sum: Law Bahk Go (Turnip Cake)

Jade Garden – Seattle, WA – 11/27/2009

Name: Law Bahk Go
Primary Ingredient(s): Turnip
Type of Dish: Cake
Method of Preparation: Pan Fried

Turnip cake is an unassuming dish, I think. It’s neither exotic, like chicken feet, nor pedestrian, like shrimp rolls. It is simply mashed turnips mixed with a bit of rice flour added, along with some sausage, pork belly, shrimp, or mushroom (again, depending upon your dim sum restaurant of choice). I like to think of turnip cake as dim sum’s version of potato pancakes. It’s a starch course with meat added for flavoring.

This is not a criticism. In fact, it is a compliment of the highest order. These types of dishes offer just enough savory flavor to be interesting, while at the same time fulfilling our biological need for complex carbohydrates. This is food a la homo sapien, a type of dish we humans are thoroughly familiar. It is, quite plainly, the essence of comfort food.

One word of note about the Turnip Cake had at Ocean City (pictured below). It was re-heated on mobile grill that went from table to table. I had never seen a mobile grill before, and found it quite novel.

Ocean City – Seattle, WA – 11/29/2009