These crunchy cakes are delicious dipped in sauce and a great way to use a daikon radish you may have on hand. Daikon radishes are white to creamy, long roots that can weigh a couple pounds each. Dried shrimp is optional but adds to the umami taste; it’s available in Asian markets. The cake is cooked in a pan set over a bamboo steamer.
|1||cup soy sauce|
|1||cup rice vinegar|
|1||tablespoon sesame oil|
|1||piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, finely chopped|
1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper, ginger, and sugar.
2. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
|Extra peanut oil (for the pan)|
|1||tablespoon dried shrimp (optional)|
|1||large (1 pound) daikon|
|6||tablespoons peanut oil|
|3||ounces andouille or other firm cooked sausage, cut|
into ¼-inch dice
|4||scallions, finely chopped|
|2||tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped|
|1½||cups rice flour|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|Extra fresh cilantro (for garnish)|
1. Have on hand a bamboo steamer. Oil a 9-inch round cake pan.
2. In a bowl, combine the shrimp, if using, with water to cover. Soak for 20 minutes or until softened. Drain and chop coarsely; set aside.
3. Using a food processor fitted with the grating disk, grate the radish.
4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the sausage, scallions, and shrimp. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
5. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 1¾ cups of the water and the radish to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the radish softens; remove from heat.
6. In a bowl combine rice flour, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the remaining 1½ cups water. Add the daikon radish mixture and sausage; stir well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Transfer the mixture to the pan.
7. Fill a wok with a couple inches of water. Set a bamboo steamer in it (the water should not touch the steamer). Set the pan on the steamer rack, cover the steamer, and steam over medium heat for 45 minutes or until the cake is firm yet springy to the touch. Add more water to the wok during cooking, if necessary.
8. Remove the cake from the steamer; cool. Slice the round cake into 2-inch pieces.
9. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Working in batches, cook the cakes for 5 minutes on a side, or until golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Garnish with cilantro and serve with dipping sauce.