Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spiced Taro Cake 五香芋頭糕

The number one factor about this cake that appeals to me is its aroma. Someone said we eat with our eyes. But many times we eat with our nose as well. Before we can see the food, the aroma can lure us even though we are far away from it. This may be the reason when we have a cold and congestion, all food tastes bland. The sense of smell plays an important role in how we taste food.

The aroma from the five spice powder is unbelievable. The main ingredients of the five spices are powdered fennel, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. It is amazing how these spices can greatly elevate the taste of a dish.

In addition to making turnip pudding for the Chinese New Year, it is a good idea to make something different this year.

五香芋頭糕的香味是我喜歡這糕點的一大原因。有人說我們是用眼睛來進食的,但我覺得很多時候我們是用鼻子來進食的。食物的香味可以傳播很廣,遠遠還未見到便可以聞到。我想大家在傷風鼻塞時,都有食物變得淡而無味的經歷吧 ! 嗅覺對於我們品嚐食物是十分重要的啊。

五香粉是由小茴香、丁香、肉桂、八角及花椒磨粉而成,一味菜肴加上一點點便可大大提升它的味道,真是奇妙 !

今年農曆新年,除了做蘿蔔糕 ,試試做五香芋頭糕也不錯啊 !

Ingredients 材料:

1 medium size taro, about 600-800g, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes 中型芋頭一個,去皮切粒
250g/8oz/half a bag rice flour 半磅粘米粉
4-5 cups water 四至五杯水
black mushrooms, soaked, drained and diced 冬菇浸軟切粒
small dried shrimps, soaked and drained 蝦米浸軟切粒
Chinese sausages, diced 臘腸切粒
1.5 tsp chicken powder 一茶匙半鷄粉
1 tsp five spice powder 一茶匙五香粉
1 tsp salt 一茶匙鹽
1 tsp sugar 一茶匙糖

1)  Put about 1 tbsp oil in a hot wok and stir fry the mushrooms, shrimps, and sausages for a few minutes. Remove and set aside.

2)  Cook taro with water in the same wok or pan. Add the seasonings and cook for about 10 minutes until softened, but not mushy.

3)  Add the rice flour and mix until no white flour is seen. Add the mushrooms, shrimps and sausages. Mix well.

4)  Put into a dish or pan and steam for about 40 minutes. Serve warm. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. Steam for a few minutes to reheat or pan fry.

先炒香東菇、蝦米及臘腸粒,盛起。芋頭粒加調味料,加水煮約十分鐘至軟身,加入粘米粉,炒匀,再加入其他配料 。盛起放大盤內,蒸約四十分鐘。

1)  Pick taro that is light in weight compared to its size. Put on a pair of gloves if your skin is sensitive when handling taro. (I get itchy after handling taro.)
2)  Adjust the steaming time for your dish or pan size.


  1. Hi Phoebe,
    I love five spices too.Do you have any brand name that you like ?

    1. No. I just got mine from Chinese grocery market.

  2. interesting...never had this type of turnip/taro pudding before! i want to make turnip pudding this year..make a few batches to hand out to neighbors

  3. Hi Phoebe, I made the taro cake last night.The result came outs very yummy.My son and his friends really love it. Thanks you so much


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