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Savoury Taro Cakes recipe

Savoury Taro Cakes recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes

A delicious Chinese snack or side dish. Taro root is mashed and mixed with shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp and peanuts, before being pan-fried to perfection.

Quebec, Canada

1 person made this

IngredientsMakes: 2 - 3 servings

  • Mushroom Marinade
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and diced
  • 1 taro root, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 15 red skinned peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon small dried shrimp, soaked and diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock granules
  • 2 tablespoons oil

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:5min marinating › Ready in:1hr

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, sugar and sesame oil. Add the shiitake mushrooms, turn to coat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Boil the taro root for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Boil the peanuts for 15 minutes, drain and set aside.
  4. Heat a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Stir-fry the mushrooms and shrimp for 2-3 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  5. Mix together the mashed taro, peanuts, mushrooms, shrimp, salt and chicken stock granules. Once cool, shape taro mix into the shape and size you prefer.
  6. Fry the taro cakes in 2 tablespoons oil over low heat until both sides are evenly browned. Serve.


Dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms can be purchased in Chinese/Oriental speciality stores.
Taro root is also known as dasheen. It can be purchased in Asian/Caribbean speciality stores.

See it on my blog

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How to Make Savoury Taro Cake (Wu Tao Ko)

Savoury Taro Cake (Wu Tao Ko in Cantonese) was a breakfast snack that I remember being sold alongside Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice noodle rolls) back in my hometown of Seremban in Malaysia.

My parents would typically order a small share plate of it from the hawker stall at breakfast, and it was served steamed (not pan-fried like what you get at yum cha here in Australia) and with some tim cheong (hoisin-based sauce) and a chilli sauce that’s not too dissimilar to Sriracha.

I’d previously attempted the recipe for this from my Famous Street Food of Penang cookbook and found it way too taro-y – which made me think that the Penang version of this dish must be quite different from what we had in the southern states. This time around, I made it with the amount of taro halved, and I was much happier with the result.

I also remember the version from my childhood having the dried shrimp in the taro cake rather than minced and sprinkled on top of it, so I covered both bases and did both, because, why not. And I added other features from the version I know – ie. toasted sesame seeds, spring onion etc.

This was broadcast on my Live Asian Kitchen on Twitch, though rather than sharing that full recording, I might shoot a separate, edited video and embed it here at some point.

French Savory Cake with Ham, Cheese, and Olives

Cakes salés, or savory cakes, are an apéro staple in France. Serve savory cake alongside marinated olives, cured meats, and something crunchy such as pretzels or potato chips, and you&rsquove got the perfect spread of bites to go with a glass of bubbly wine or rosé.

You can make French savory cake so many different ways, but I like mine cheesy and brimming with textured ingredients. I&rsquove been making a simple ham and cheese savory cake for years, but for my cookbook, French Appetizers, I created a luxurious version that featured caramelized fennel, lemon, and Comté cheese. That recipe caught the eye of the Washington Post, who mentioned my book and included a version of my recipe with their article.

What&rsquos great about savory cakes is that you can make them so many different ways. You can use any type of hard cheese&mdashthe more flavorful, the better&mdashand mix in basically anything you crave for: ham, bacon, green and black olives, fresh or dried herbs, caramelized vegetables, nuts&hellip anything goes. The important thing is not to overload the cake with too many different flavors, or you won&rsquot get to appreciate a balanced treat.

To make a tasty French savory cake, you could, for example, pick one cheese, one protein, and one or two mix-ins. In the version of the recipe I&rsquom sharing here, I followed this exact combination: grated Gruyère, for nutty cheesiness ham, for a meaty, salty kick and olives, for a briny, addictive touch.

It&rsquos hard to go wrong when making savory cake, and once you enjoy a warm piece with a glass of wine, you&rsquoll probably want to make sure to always keep slices in the freezer for impromptu happy hours. Here&rsquos good news: savory cake is the perfect make-ahead happy hour treat. Indeed, the flavor of savory cake keeps developing as it sits, which means it&rsquos even better the next day, or reheated several days later. Just make sure to wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it in an airtight freezer bag to keep the savory cake moist and tender.

Yam Cake Recipe (Or Kuih)

Whenever I go home to Malaysia, I would always stuff myself crazy with all sorts of kuih (local sweet or savory cake). One of my favorite is or kuih, or yam cake made of yam (in the US, yam is referred as taro). I have never attempted making kuih in the US though.

Today, I have invited a fellow Penangite Su-Yin Koay of Bread et Butter to share the savory and mouthwatering or kuih recipe. Bread et Butter is a beautiful blog with many recipes: Malaysian, Chinese, baking, and all sorts of goodies.

You can also find culture guide articles bout Malaysia, Penang, etc. Please welcome Bread et Butter to Rasa Malaysia and do visit her wonderful food blog. Now I could only wish that I have some or kuih for my tea break today!

I was very excited when Bee asked me if I would like to write a guest post for her blog&ndashI mean, this was Rasa Malaysia, one of my favourite food blogs out there!

She&rsquos taught me so much about Malaysian and Chinese cooking, and it is truly an honour to have a chance to do this.

One of the things I&rsquove always enjoyed eating is yam cake (&ldquoor kuih&rdquo in Hokkien, where &ldquoor&rdquo = yam, &ldquokuih&rdquo = snack or cake). It is a popular snack amongst the Malaysian and Singaporean communities, and is basically a steamed kuih made from yam pieces, dried prawns and rice flour.

It is then topped with deep fried shallots, spring onions, chillis and dried prawns, and usually served with a chilli dipping sauce.

I grew up eating my grandma&rsquos or kuih, and I remember thinking how it would be so cool if I knew how to make it. However I would always be at school when she made or kuih, so I never really learnt how it was made.

And if I were being perfectly honest, I was only really interested in eating it&hellip it also didn&rsquot help that there was always a ready supply of it.

Of course, this changed when I came to England. I have yet to find a restaurant here that serves decent or kuih, which is highly disappointing. So I decided to ask my grandma for her or kuih recipe so I could have a go at making it myself.

And you know what &ndash I don&rsquot know why I never tried making this before, because it is actually pretty simple! Sure, there&rsquos a bit of prep work involved in dicing the yam, but apart from that it&rsquos quite a breeze.

The best part of her recipe is that it uses rice bowls as a measure. How brilliant is that? The ratio that&rsquos used is 2 bowls water: 1 bowl flour: 1½ bowls yam.

Of course, this means nothing is perfectly accurate in terms of weight, but some degree of variation actually doesn&rsquot alter the final product too much.

It also does not matter what size your bowl is, as long as it&rsquos a Chinese style rice bowl (i.e. not a wide and shallow cereal bowl, for instance). Just follow the 2:1:1½ ratio and you&rsquore sorted.


    • 1/4 cup Chinese dried scallops (gown yu chee), about 1 ounce
    • 8 Chinese dried mushrooms
    • 1/4 cup Chinese dried shrimp, about 1 ounce
    • 6 ounces Chinese Bacon (lop-yok), store bought or homemade
    • 1 large taro root, about 2 1/4 pounds
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 cups rice flour
    • vegetable oil, for pan-frying
    • oyster-flavored sauce

14 Savory-Pancake Recipes for Any Time of Day

We take pancakes very, very seriously at Serious Eats—whatever form they may assume. Though we love a stack of classic American pancakes drenched in maple syrup as much as anyone, it's just one of many versions out there, and not the type of pancake we're talking about today.

Our idea of what makes a pancake spans the globe, encompassing, crucially, a number of options that aren't sweet at all. There's a whole world of savory pancakes out there: thin and crisp or thick and fluffy made of potato, wheat, buckwheat, rice, or even cabbage enjoyed plain or laden with mountains of toppings and used to sop up a flood of sauce. These 14 recipes celebrate some of the very best members of the savory-pancake family, from parathas and okonomiyaki to farinata and latkes.

Taro Swiss Cake Roll

As mentioned on my previous post…here I am with another taro post, this time taro was made into a creamy and rich filling for Swiss roll cake.

If you are interested in learning more about taro root, please check my previous post…

– Why this cake is different?

Yes, you read it right, the filling of this cake is made with taro…taro can be used in savory or sweet dish, it is super versatile and packed with healthy elements in it.

– Can I find this kind of cake in Asian bakeries?

Yes, again, you can find taro filled cake (birthday cake) with layers of taro cream in between cake. They even decorate the cake in purple so you are aware of its flavor.

– Ready to try this unique taro filling?


  • 500 g taro cut into small cubes of approximately ½ in
  • 1 can low fat coconut milk
  • 60 g sugar or more if you prefer a bit sweeter
  • 3 eggs
  • 35 g vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
  • 30 g milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60 g cake flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 g white vinegar
  • 60 g sugar

In a medium pot add the taro and the coconut milk. Cook under medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.

Add the sugar and stir gently. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. At this point the taro will be soft and breaking/melting into the coconut milk.

If you like with little pieces of taro, remove from the heat and let it cool. If you like creamier, let it cook a couple more minutes and mashed the remaining pieces of taro into the cream.

Let the taro cream cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven at 275 o F. Line a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) jelly pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix cake flour with salt., and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together egg yolks, oil, milk, vanilla extract. Add the sifted mix of cake flour and salt to the egg yolk mixture. Mix well until smooth and all the flour is well incorporated, resembling a pancake mix batter.

In a large bowl of a hand-held mixer or stand mixer whisk the egg white with the vinegar until large bubbles form. Add the sugar slowly into thirds. Whisk until medium/firm peaks form. Do not over beat, the meringue should be shiny and form soft but firm peaks.

Add about ⅓ of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture and mix gently until all the egg white is incorporated to the batter.

Pour the egg yolk mix to the remaining meringue and fold gently until all the egg white is combined to the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Gently tap the pan against the counter to remove excess of air bubbles. Bake at for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Remove cake from the oven and transfer it with its parchment paper onto a wire rack and let it cool.

Flip the cake to another piece of parchment paper of silicone mat.

Peel the parchment paper from the cake and roll it. Let the cake cool.

Unroll the cake and spread a thin layer of the cooled taro filling. Roll back and wrap tightly with a plastic wrap.

Place the cake roll in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.

Malaysian-style Or Kuih or Wu Tiu Gao are usually cut into 2&Prime to 3&Prime thick rectangular or diamond shapes. They aren&rsquot typically pan-fried after steaming, and are sold individually as part of a kuih spread. To eat them, you would usually use the side of a fork to dislodge smaller pieces from the bigger cake.

Even though I have fond schoolgirl memories of eating taro cake in this way, these days I like cutting the cakes into thinner rectangles that are about 1&Prime-1.5&Prime thick, and pan-frying them in a bit of oil like the Cantonese do. Instead of eating the cakes like you would a cheese cake, you pick the fried cakes up with chopsticks or a fork, and take bites out of them. If necessary, soy sauce can be used as a dipping sauce.

Instead of serving it kuih-style, I cut the cakes thinner, and pan-fry them individually.

That bit of browning on both surfaces of the cakes really bring out the flavor of taro that cannot be matched by just serving the steamed cakes as is. Frying also gives the cakes a bit of crisp on the outside. This treatment creates a membrane that gives some surface tension when you sink your teeth into the cakes. It&rsquos a level up in terms of taste and texture.

Chinese Taro Cake (Woo Tau Goh)

Admittedly, it doesn't exactly sound particularly appetizing. And you're probably questioning my sanity.

I can assure you that I am completely sane and that, despite the name, Chinese taro cake is actually quite delicious!

Food often plays a huge part in a culture's celebrations, and this Chinese taro cake, or woo tau goh (woo tao go) is no exception. If you are of Chinese descent and from my generation or earlier, you are, most likely, already familiar with this traditional Lunar New Year dish and hopefully, it conjures up fond childhood memories as it does for me!

My mum used to make these every year and I haven't eaten her taro cakes since I left home. Here in Hong Kong, taro cakes are showing up in abundance as we near Chinese New Year. but they never look the same as my mum's. So I was determined to try and figure out how to make this recipe myself, not only to relive some delicious food memories, but also to try and carry on my mum's version.

The Taro Root

Taro is a root vegetable that is most often compared to being like a potato. The dark brown, almost "furry" type skin is best removed with a knife. I simply cut the taro root in half cross-wise, set each half on its flat base, and then start cutting away the skin from top to bottom. I have read online about how your skin can get irritated when when handling taro. While I did not have any issues, you can always use gloves in this case.

Cutting away the skin will expose the whitish speckled taro root underneath which you can then cut into small cubes. I boil the cubes for a couple of minutes to help ensure they cooked through in the final product, and once cooked, the taro root takes on a slight purplish hue.

The Tasty Toppings

The toppings are, I think, THE best part of taro cake because of the flavor-packed punch they give the dish. All the toppings are incredibly flavorful and full of umami, or that deep satisfying savory taste that always hits the spot.

Dried shrimp and scallops are used in this recipe, but they require a bit of preparation before using. (See note below.) Soaking them in hot water for a while will rehydrate them, and that soaking water will end up being mixed with the rice flour to make the rice flour solution. Basically, you don't want to toss that flavorful water!

Chinese sausages, or "lop cheng" are the other umami-packed topping ingredient and one of my favorite Chinese foods. I give these sausages a rinse under hot tap water to clean them off and to make them easier to handle when I chop them into small diced pieces.

After the shrimp and scallops are rehydrated, I pull apart the scallops into shreds using my fingers, and I chop the shrimp roughly into small pieces. I then combine the shrimp, scallops, and Chinese sausage together and put it aside until I'm ready to use them.

The Rice Solution

The "cake" part, or glue that is going to hold everything together, is made up of a mixture of rice flour, salt, white pepper, and sugar and the liquid used to soak and rehydrate the dried shrimp and scallops.

The dry ingredients and the soaking liquid get whisked together until slightly thickened. There is not much in terms of seasonings that go into the rice flour solution except for the salt, pepper, sugar, and soaking liquid, but you don't need much as you will get a bunch of flavor from the toppings.

Optionally, you can add ½ a tsp of fish sauce to the solution to add more overall umami flavor to the cake.

Note about the liquid: I warm the reserved liquid in the microwave before adding it to the rice flour mixture, but I do not want the water to get HOT as this may end up cooking the rice flour and making it turn into a clump that won't separate. 30 seconds should be enough.

Taro Cake

Now it's time to put it all together and cook it!

I spread the cooked taro root in a deep pie dish, but you can use any dish that is large enough to hold everything. I have used an 8x8 baking dish as well as a loaf pan with great success.

The rice solution is then poured over all the taro root, and finally, the savory toppings are scattered evenly over the surface. Sometimes I will push the toppings in a bit to make sure they get embedded in the cake while steaming.

My steamer set-up is a wok with a rack at the bottom and I simply add water to the wok and bring it to a medium boil. I set the dish on the rack and put the lid on the wok and let the taro cake steam.

And here is a before and after! The left is pre-steaming, and the right shows the finished product after an hour of steaming.

As you can see from the photo, the rice flour liquid has congealed and solidified, becoming a "cake" and marrying the taro root and toppings together.

You could certainly eat this as is, but memories of my mother's always had bright green chopped green onion and sesame seeds sprinkled on top. And really. it makes it look so much nicer and appetizing! It's those little touches that make all the difference!

This Is My Mum's Version

My mum used to make this every year for Chinese New Year and I loved it. There mere sight of this brings back so many memories.

Keep in mind that this recipe is different than the majority of taro cake recipes online or that you will find being sold in shops. Furthermore, there are different variations of taro cake depending on which region of southeast Asia the recipe originates from.

Most recipes online involve cooking the savory ingredients with the cubed taro root in a pan and rice flour liquid, creating a thick paste that then gets scooped into a dish before steaming. There are no toppings that are added at the end of the steaming and you simply end up with a cake or loaf. The cake then gets cut into thick slices and are pan-fried before serving. that is how you will often get it at dim sum restaurants.

However, that's not how my mum did it.

Going from childhood memories, I remembered watching her ladle the rice solution into the dish, not cooking it into a paste. I remembered her laying the savory toppings on top, not having them buried in the cake. And I remembered how they looked, their texture, and how they tasted. I was thrilled when I got mine to look like hers used to. And when I got the flavor? I was so ecstatic, I couldn't wait to write this up for the blog!

As the ultimate form of praise, my sisters showed my mum photos of my completed woo tau goh, and when I spoke to my mum on the phone, she expressed her approval! She said it looked very pretty, that I did it right, and that I was much more dedicated than she because I made sure to chop the toppings so small, making it easier to eat. She explained how it was a lot of work when she used to make it (she would make several pans at a time!) and how she wasn't able to do it anymore. She seemed quite pleased that I knew how to make it, which gave me a great deal of satisfaction and sense of pride in being able to recreate my mum's taro cake.

Please note that getting a compliment, ANY compliment from a Chinese mother from her generation does not come easily! So this is huge!

Thank you for indulging me in sharing this recipe! This is a very traditional Chinese dish, but one that I love and didn't want to forget, and what better place to keep it but on the blog? If you're looking for other Chinese recipes inspired by my mum, check out Mom's BBQ Pork Chow Mein or her Noodle Egg Foo Young. If you're looking for another traditional celebratory dish, check out Savory Chinese Winter Solstice Soup, another recipe also inspired by what my mum used to cook.

And just because it's worth mentioning, this dish can be considered gluten-free! No soy sauce, no wheat, no gluten. It's an added bonus you weren't expecting, right?

Whether this dish brings back memories of your childhood or you're intrigued about what Chinese taro cake is like to eat, I hope you'll give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do!

Banh beo – Savoury Rice Cake (Water Fern Cake)

Banh beo is a specialty of central Vietnam, especially popular in Da Nang, Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai. It is basically made from rice flour and tapioca starch, topped with minced shrimp (Hue style) or a mixture of pork and shrimp (Da Nang/Quang Nam style). A simple yet elegant, cheap yet delicious dish which can be eaten throughout the day!

  • *** For the batter ***
  • 400 gr rice flour
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) tapioca starch
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • For Hue-style topping
  • 300 g shrimppeel and deveined
  • Salt and pepper
  • For Quang-style topping
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) pork bellyfinely diced
  • 200 g (7 oz) shrimpfinely diced
  • Shrimp roe “gach tom”
  • “Cheating” way to make banh beo using prawn crackers: Boil prawn crackers for 15 mins with 1tsp oil. Drain and rinse with cold water. Immediately spread them on a plate to avoid them from sticking to each other.
  • Traditional method: In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch and water. Stir well and allow the mixture to rest for 1 hour to reduce the strong flour smell. Then add salt and cooking oil. Transfer to a tea pot or a jug for easy pouring. Stack small condiment bowls in a steamer and steam the empty bowls for 2 minutes. Wrap the lid of the steamer with a thick kitchen towel to prevent water from dripping into the cakes. Then pour a thin layer of the mixture in each bowl and steam for 4 minutes. Take out and allow them to cool. Each cake should have a nice "dimple". Stir up the mixture once in a while. Repeat until finish the batter.
  • To make Hue-style topping, season the shrimps with ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper and ½ tsp chicken stock. Set aside for 15 minutes. Steam for 5 minutes or microwave for 2-3 minutes until they turn orange. In a mortar and pestle, grind the prawns till a rough texture. Then roast in a pan (without oil) on medium low heat for 1-2 minutes to remove some of the moisture till separated.
  • To make Quang-style topping, in a heated pan on medium high heat, add the pork belly and fry without any oil for 2-3 minutes. Some fat will melt into liquid form. Add minced shrimp and shrimp paste. Dilute 4-5 tbsp of the banh beo batter with 4-5 tbsp water and slowly add to the pan until you get a slightly thick consistency.
  • To make the sauce: In a sauce pan cook the shrimp shells and simmer for 5 minutes. Extract the broth and discard the shells. Apply 1:1:5 ratio: 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 5 tbsp shrimp broth. Crush fresh chili with a spoon and add to the fish sauce.
  • To assemble the dish, remove the cakes from the molds and spread evenly on a plate. Grease the cakes with some scallion oil. Top up with your choice of topping. Garnish with crispy pork skin / fried shallot / crushed roasted peanuts. Drizzle some sauce over and serve! It can also be served in the mold itself with a topping of your choice.

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