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Fried Turnip Cake – Vanishing Hong Kong Traditional Snack

April 8, 2021

Category: Food & Beverages
Address: 70 Kat Hing Street, Tai O (Google map pin here)
Opening Hours: Unknown
Recommended Time to Visit: Teatime
Recommended dishes: Steamed Pork Patty with Salted Egg Yolk
Budget: $10/ one piece
Payment Methods: Cash only

What causes the disappearance of traditional eats? The complex process of preparations, increasing cost of ingredients, or increasingly diverse food selections that drag people away from the traditions? All the above applies to the forgotten food – Deep-Fried Turnip Cake. If you want to help sustain the vanishing food, go grab it at Tai O Snack, which is one of the only few food stalls in Hong Kong that is still making the oldie but goodie treat!

(Photo from https://www.openrice.com/zh/hongkong/p-%E5%A4%A7%E6%BE%B3%E5%B0%8F%E9%A3%9F-p2891336)

Originated itself as a countryside snack, it gained popularity among train travelers in the 1950s. Shaped like the Cantonese-style red bean pudding but with a golden crust, this simple treat is only made out of a handful of ingredients – shredded turnip, celeries, dried shrimps, and five-spice powder, but the steps of making it from scratch can take up to two hours, ranging from the batter making to preparing the fillings. A special piece of equipment that resembles a giant ladle is needed to create that mesmerizing shape, which they need to first coat the surface with a thin layer of batter, and then stuff the fillings before the deep-frying. 

(Photo from https://images.app.goo.gl/CMvNPDbFiuZRd1qT7)

What defines a tasty one? Crispy flaky on the outside and soft on the inside, filled with a generous amount of shredded turnip infused with the distinctive spice aroma and the freshness of the celeries. The one that Tai O Snack offers is even mixed with minced pork which adds another layer of flavors. You may wonder how much it costs with that huge amount of effort and time put into it – only $10! Don’t let yourself regret so go dig into the disappearing goodie!

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Peggy Lam

Peggy here, and I am a storyteller. Despite not being a professional tour guide myself, I am thrilled to share and write about the fun things to do in town, the untold stories & even my personal observations.


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