Chinese Recipe: Water Chestnut Cake

Freshwater chestnuts are added along with other ingredients. (Image: YouTube/Screenshot)

Water chestnut cake is a recipe from China prepared in households during the Chinese New Year. The cake is cut into pieces and pan-fried when served during dim sum; therefore, it tends to hold its shape even when soft. One of the standout features of the water chestnut cake is its translucent appearance.

Water chestnut cake is a sweet Cantonese dim sum dish. (Image: wikimedia / GNU FDL)


To prepare water chestnut cake, you will need 10 freshwater chestnuts, 14 ounces of sugar, 9 ounces of chestnut flour, and about 50 ounces of water. If freshwater chestnuts are not available, you can use canned ones. As far as sugar is concerned, you can use either the brown or white variety. The entire recipe will take about 40 minutes, with preparation and cooking accounting for 20 minutes each. The final cake will deliver around 400 calories.

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    • First, combine the flour with 300 milliliters of water and keep stirring until a smooth mixture is generated. Set aside the mixture for about 10 minutes and stir it once again. Strain it, if necessary.
    • Take out a deep pan and put in the sugar and all the remaining water. Bring it to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Mince water chestnuts into small pieces and add them to the pan.
    • Once everything is properly mixed, take the sugar water and slowly stir it into the flour mixture. When the mixing is complete, you should be left with a thick batter.
    • Pour the batter into a square baking pan. Place it in a steamer and let it steam for about 20 minutes. Once ready, the cake will look transparent.
    • After it has cooled down, cut the cake into square pieces and serve. You can tweak the cake’s flavors by adding in some ginger, coconut, red beans, osmanthus, or other ingredients.
Ginger, coconut, or other ingredients can be added to tweak the flavor. (Image: tissue fleur via flickr tissue fleur CC BY-SA 2.0)

Since water chestnuts have a detoxing effect and the cake can be a yummy way to maintain health. Water chestnuts from the Pan Tang region are considered to be of the highest quality and give the best flavor to your cake.

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