Recipe: Taro Cake

I’ve decided to explore my roots through cooking and here is one! You’ve probably had taro cake in dim sum restaurants. They’ll pan fry up these thick slices of dough, you can barely taste any different between the rice dough and the taro pieces. It was nothing like the taro cake I grew up with. Although, my family’s recipes went through variations too. It started off with taro but soon became potato cake and then black eyed pea cake. Perhaps they were playing with flavors or maybe trying to find economical and easier ways to prepare this dish.

I haven’t had this dish in quite a while and had a strong craving for it, unfortunately, I am unable to find a similar dish in restaurants so here we go.

Dried shiitakes, rehydrated in hot water and diced

Lup cheong, diced

Boiled taro, cubed. This is the first time I worked with taro and boy oh boy, I can see why my family moved away from it but to me, it’s worth the work (the peeling!!!) and the taste is irreplacable.

Dried small shrimp, soaked in hot water and then minced. Keep that water from soaking! Absolute star of the recipe, you cannot omit this ingredient!

Stirfry the above ingredients together with some chicken bouillion, oyster sauce…your kitchen will smell DELICIOUS.

The rice mixture is super thin, the liquid is from the shrimp liquid. I think it made a difference, so much more flavor!

I added a layer of the filling at the bottom of the dish and then spooned the rice liquid on top until it was barely covering the filling and steamed it.

Right out of the steamer…

Love the sprinkling of roasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions on top. This recipe came out great!

Wu Tao Gau
“Taro Cake”



180 g rice flour 

½ t salt

½ t sugar

½ t white pepper

2 C of dried shrimp water

Taro Mixture:

340g taro root (weight after peel is removed), boiled, peeled and cut into small cubes

25g dried shrimp, rehydrated in 2 C of hot water

  • Reserve 2C of the dried shrimp water for use in the batter

8-10 shiitakes, rehydrated and minced (no stems)

2 lup cheong (Chinese sausage), cut into small pieces

2 T oil (vegetable/corn/canola)

1 chicken bouillon cube

½ – ¾ C water

2 T oyster sauce


Minced green onions

Roasted Sesame Seed


Boil taro root in water for 45-50 minutes. Drain and let taro cool down in cold water, okay to make it ice water. Once cooled, taro skin will come off easily. Dice into small cubes.

Heat up 4C of water, split in half to soak dried shrimp and dried shiitakes separately for an hour. 

Drain both shiitake and dried shrimp, reserve the shrimp water! Mince both shrimp and shiitakes into small pieces. Dice lup cheong into small pieces.

Heat oil in a pan, add lup cheong and stir fry until fragrant. Add shiitake and stir fry for about 30 seconds, add dried shrimp and stir fry for another 30 seconds. Add taro root and stir fry for about a minute. Add chicken bouillon cube and about ½ to ¾ C of water. Let mixture simmer on medium high for about 10 minutes. 

Remove mixture and place on the side. Mix together rice flour, salt, sugar and white pepper in a bowl. Reheat dried shrimp water in the microwave for about 1 minute. Slowly stream 1.5 C of the water into the dry ingredients while whisking.

Prepare a steamer on high heat. Grease a glass pie dish (pyrex kind) with a neutral oil (corn, canola, vegetable) and add about ¼ C of the taro mixture to the bottom of the dish. Once the water is boiling, mix the rice batter right before ladling about 2-3 soup ladles full onto pie dish. Place in steam and steam for 25 minutes on high. Check after about 15 minutes for the water level, add more water as needed.

Remove from heat and garnish immediately with green onions and sesame seeds. Best served warm, enjoy!

Note: This made about 3 pie dishes worth with tons of taro mixture leftover. Will play around with batter recipe for correct yield to the taro mixture.

8 responses to “Recipe: Taro Cake

  1. jalna

    Whoa, that looks great!

  2. kat

    lots of work but sounds and looks worth it!

  3. vickinags

    I used to love the taro cake from Char Hun Sut. This looks so ono, but so humbug to make so next time you make it, just add little more ingredients and I’ll be over, LOL

  4. That is a lot of work! Congrats on nailing it!

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