my grandma’s yook bang (chinese steamed pork cake)

This was my absolute favourite thing to eat when I was a kid and I finally made it myself for the first time! I was such a horrible picky eater growing up but I loved this Cantonese dish that my grandma would make for me.  It’s freshly minced pork mixed with a bit of dried turnip, shaped into a patty and then steamed.  It probably doesn’t sound particularly amazing and it definitely doesn’t look amazing but it is soooo good. I can very vividly remember my grandma using a big cleaver to duk or mince pork on a round wooden cutting block for this dish. She unsurprisingly doesn’t have a ‘real’ recipe for this or any precise measurements for the ingredients but I found that the following worked out well.  Tasted exactly like my childhood!

500 grams pork shoulder / 1/2 tsp salt / 1/2 tsp sugar / 1 tsp light soy sauce / 1 tbsp cornstarch / 1 tbsp diced dried turnip* / grapeseed (or any other) oil just for greasing the dish

*You can find dried turnip (which is weirdly packaged as just ‘dried vegetable’) at an Asian supermarket

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Using a large heavy cleaver, mince the pork. And by mince, I mean hack away at it. You want it about the consistency of ground pork that you would buy from the supermarket.

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Using chopsticks, mix the pork with the salt, sugar, soy sauce, dried turnip, and cornstarch just until everything is combined. Lightly grease a pie dish or a large rimmed plate with the oil. Get your steamer ready and put the pork mixture into the plate and shape into a round patty.

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You’ll steam this for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the pork is cooked through.

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And there you have it! You will have some liquid in the pie dish which you absolutely should not pour out. Serve this with some veggies and steamed rice and be sure to spoon some of the liquid over the rice.

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