This is a traditional Chinese steamed cake, but with ground pork and fried shallots makes it taste totally different. It is very easy to make, and the result is never disappointing every time I made it. One of the best part of this recipe is that unlike all other Chinese steamed cakes that typically take at least 45 minutes for steaming, this cake takes 16 minutes to steam (see recipe below)– which means it takes no more than 1 hour from start to finish! The flavor is very acceptable among Asian (unless one doesn’t like fried shallots); even my ‘guai low’ husband likes it too. Every time I make it for potluck, at first people are hesitated to try it because it’s not common, and the cake doesn’t look pretty, but after they have it they want the recipe :)…
Steamed Savory Cake Recipe (makes 1 square cake)
3/4 cup sugar
2-3 tbsp fried shallots– drained oil
3/4 rice bowl of ground pork
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
8″ x 8″ glass baking dish– lined with plastic wrap (see note #3 below)
- Season ground pork with some salt, ground white pepper, sesame oil, cornstarch and little water (it’s just like regular seasoning before you cook it). Fry ground pork with some oil in a heated pan. Keep stirring and breakdown the meat with spatula so the pork is loose. Add sugar and soy sauce, continue frying until pork starts to brown. Dish out and cool.
- Add eggs and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat using a electric hand mixer until increase in volume and pale in color, 10 minutes. Scrapping the bowl 1-2 times with a rubber spatula. To have a fluffy cake texture, you have to use electric mixer and beat at medium/high speed for 10 minutes.
- Sift in 1/2 of flour to the batter, use a rubber spatula to gently mix the flour on the top then gently fold in to mix together. Repeat with remaining half of the flour.
- Pour 1/2 of batter into square glass dish, smooth the batter and steam for 8 minutes on high heat. Take the cake out of steamer and sprinkle 1/2 portion of ground pork and 1/2 portion of fried shallots evenly on the top. Pour in remaining 1/2 batter, smooth the top and sprinkle remaining 1/2 portions of ground pork and fried shallots. Back to steamer and steam for another 8 minutes until cooked.
- Use good homemade fried shallots as it is the soul of this yummy cake. Store bought prefried shallots usually doesn’t have a nice aroma as homemade ones but still ok to use.
- To save time, turn on steamer when you start beating the eggs– the steamer will be ready when you’re done with the batter.
- I like to use plastic wrap because the it makes cleaning the pan easy. However, plastic wrap will stick on glass pan but not on plastic or non-stick cookware. Also, be sure to push out any air bubbles trap in between wrap and cookware when lining, or your cake will look distorted after steaming.
- Other variation: spicy ‘hae bee hiam’ flavor, XO sauce or sambal flavor, five-spice & nam yee flavor…