Photo: Hedy Khoo


Take this perennial favourite up a notch by throwing in tiger prawns.

Radish cake, commonly referred to as carrot cake, is traditionally regarded as an auspicious dish for the Chinese New Year festivities. In Mandarin, radish (cai tou) is a homophone for good luck.

Save yourself the hassle of making carrot cake from scratch. I chanced upon ready-to-use carrot cake in the supermarket, and I was pleasantly surprised by its quality.

The one I bought comes in a fat sausage-like roll wrapped in plastic.

The glossy white cake looks more like agar-agar than carrot cake. But do not worry, once you start frying it, the cake turns translucent, tender and slightly sticky.

For added flavour, use shallot oil, which is the oil used for frying shallots to a golden brown.


Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)

  • 4 tbsp shallot oil
  • 480g carrot cake, cut into 2cm-thick cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 60g sweet preserved radish (chye poh), chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs (330g), beaten
  • 1 tbsp crispy prawn chilli
  • 6 tiger prawns (180g), deveined
  • 2 stalks of spring onion, sliced



  • 24cm non-stick frying pan with flat base



1. Heat 2 tablespoons of shallot oil in pan over medium heat.

2. Add carrot cake and fry for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until cubes begin to turn golden at the edges.

3. Push carrot cake cubes to the side of the pan to make space for frying garlic.

4. Add 1 tablespoon of shallot oil, add in one-third of chopped garlic and fry for 30 seconds.

Photo: Hedy Khoo

5. Add in 50g of preserved radish and crispy prawn chilli. Fry for 45 seconds. (photo above)

Photo: Hedy Khoo

6. Stir-fry garlic, preserved radish and carrot cake until ingredients are evenly distributed around the pan. (photo above)

7. Add sesame oil, pepper and salt to beaten eggs. Stir.

Photo: Hedy Khoo

8. Pour eggs over carrot cake mixture. (photo above)

9. Turn heat to low and allow mixture to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

10. Once egg mixture begins to set, use frying slice to cut omelette into four quarters and turn each quarter over to cook.

11. Continue to fry for another 3 minutes until slightly browned. Turn off heat. Transfer carrot cake onto serving dish.

12. Heat the remaining shallot oil in a clean pan over medium heat.

13. Fry remaining garlic and preserved radish for 30 seconds.

14. Add prawns and fry for 11/2 minutes before turning them over and fry for another 2 minutes until prawns are orange in colour and cooked through.

15. Turn off heat and arrange prawns on top of carrot cake mixture.

16. Garnish with spring onion and serve hot.

This article was first published on The New Paper