Short Recipe: Fried Preserved Turnip, Chai Poh (菜脯)

Hello world! This second instalment of TummyTroll’s special Chai Tao Kway week will introduce the two secret weapons to making a good Fried Carrot Cake – The preserved turnip, and lard (We’re eating: Chicarrón / Pork Rind / Fried Lard Bits (猪油 / 猪油渣)).

Preserved turnip is wonderfully versatile – It used to be a Chinese poor-man fare, stirred into plain porridge, eaten with Chwee Kueh or steamed rice cakes, or fried with eggs into an omelette affectionately known as Chai Poh Neng. I believe a good preserved turnip really makes all the difference to making an exceptional Fried Carrot Cake with all the flavour it lends to the essentially mild-flavoured radish cake.


Ingredients for Fried Preserved Turnip, Chai Poh (菜脯)

Fried Preserved Turnip, Chai Poh (菜脯)

250g preserved turnip
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Wash and drain preserved radish, then chop into desired size – I made mine into a coarse mince. Drain of any excess liquid and pat dry with kitchen towel.

2. Heat your wok or non-stick pan with vegetable oil at medium heat. Sauté minced garlic until golden-brown and fragrant.

3. Fry chop preserved radish with garlic and oil continuously over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes. Drain pan of any excess liquid.

4. Season with salt or sugar as desired – But seriously, why would you! The preserved radish is already very salty on its own in my opinion. :)


Readers in the UK/Europe might wonder where or how to procure preserved radish. It is typically sold in Asian supermarkets in packets like this! We used the Thai sweet preserved turnip, although strictly speaking we should really have used the Chinese-style one which is more on the savoury side. For a more creative take on it, why not use both types?

Gotten your fried preserved turnip, Step-By-Step Recipe: Making from scratch… Carrot / Radish Cake, Chai Tao Kway (菜头粿) and We’re eating: Chicarrón / Pork Rind / Fried Lard Bits (猪油 / 猪油渣)? Stay tuned for the last instalment coming soon, also the most exciting – The frying of the carrot cake!

Posted by #phangchewfat

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