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Steamed Taro Cake 芋头糕-- without use of dark soy sauce

Steamed Taro Cake 芋头糕-- without use of dark soy sauce

Steamed Taro Cake 芋头糕-- without use of dark soy sauce

Steamed Taro Cake 芋头糕-- without use of dark soy sauce

This is my family’s version of taro cake 芋头糕. It tastes much better than those store bought bland mushy ones. The secret here is not about the big dried shrimps or big pieces of taro you put in it. The trick is to saute all ingredients until aromatic before adding the flour mixture. I like my taro cake full of flavor so I season it well, especially ground white pepper. The cake is very yummy eaten just by itself, no dipping sauce of any kind is needed. In Malaysia, there is  also a “brown” version of taro cakes if dark soy sauce is used. You can skip the dark soy sauce if you prefer.

Steamed Taro Cake 芋头糕--oh no! I forgot to dress up the cake (garnish)!

Steamed Taro Cake 芋头糕 before garnish-- This one is made using dark soy sauce.

Steamed Taro Cake 芋头糕 Recipe (makes 2 round 11-inch glass pan, cakes are about 2 inches tall)


Flour mixture:
1 pack (1 lb) rice flour
1 tbsp wheat starch flour 澄面粉 (optional)– see note below
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp dark caramel sauce 黑酱油 (optional)– see note below
4 1/2 cup water
1 tsp cooking oil

2 cloves garlic– finely chopped
2 tbsp dried shrimp– rinsed and roughly chopped
4 medium dried mushrooms– soaked until soft then thinly sliced
3 Chinese sausages (Cantonese style)– chop into small pieces
2 lbs taro– trim off skin and cut into 1cm cubes

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp dark caramel sauce 黑酱油 (optional)– see note below
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tbsp fried shallot

Chopped green
Chopped cilantro
Fried shallots
Fresh red pepper (optional)– thinly sliced


  1. For flour mixture: mix all ingredients to blend well and set aside for at least 30 minutes for the flour to soak up the moisture (put in the fridge overnight if desired).
  2. Heat up a shallow pan/wok with 3 tbsp oil. Saute garlic and dried shrimp until aromatic. Add in mushroom and sausages and taro cubes, continue saute until aromatic and the taro flavor comes out. Add in seasoning and stir to combine well.
  3. Pour in flour mixture (stir mixture again before pouring in) and stir constantly to distribute evenly. Turn down heat to medium and keep stirring until the mixture resembles of thick paste. Remove from heat and scoop the half-cooked mixture into 2 glass pans evenly. Smooth the top.
  4. Steam taro cakes on high heat for 45-50 minutes. If you use 1 steamer and stack 2 trays of cakes on top of each other, be sure to switch the trays half way through steaming. Let the cakes cool slightly (remove any excess water on top of the cake) before sprinkling green onion, cilantro, fried shallots and red pepper on top of the cake.

Regina’s Note:

  • wheat starch flour 澄面粉: Adding wheat starch will make the cake to have a slightly firm texture instead of the normal soft and slightly mushy texture. But, only adding a little is enough or else the taro cake will be too firm.
  • Dark caramel sauce 黑酱油: This is a thick molasses sauce that is black in color. Please not to be confused it with Taiwan style thick soy sauce 酱油膏, as one is sweet and the latter one is salty in flavor. Also, it is different from the Indonesian style dark molasses sauce, as the latter has a much sweeter taste. Skip this ingredient if you can’t find it.
  • This is Malaysian style taro cake 芋头糕, with lots of ground white pepper added and use dark soy sauce. It’s darker and more peppery than the usual Cantonese style.
  • Leftover taro cakes tastes super delicious pan fried with a little oil– crispy on the outside! If desired, add an egg too… you’ll love it!

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