When the Hakkas moved from southern China to Taiwan, they encountered a difficult living environment. Therefore the
Hakkas sought food that made them feel full and did not seek food that was
exquisite. In the beginning, for the sake of convenience, they stuffed
vegetables with small pieces of meat into a white glutinous rice cake. When
they went up to the mountain, this was taken as the food for the belly. Later,
the white buns gradually became the form of the vegetable buns, and the taste
became more and more diverse. Because the stuffing contained a lot of
vegetables, this food came to be called “vegetable buns.” Its nickname “pig
cage ban (glutinous rice)” originated from the fact that it looks like the kind
of long bamboo cage used to carry small pigs in ancient times.
Hakkas often made these Hakka radish buns
to worship their ancestors during the Lantern Festival, the Qingming Tomb Sweeping
Festival or “Weiya” – the last crescent moon of the lunar year. In addition to serving
them as offerings to the heavens and the ancestors in hopes of obtaining
blessings, they also served them to the whole family, letting everyone enjoy
the satisfying taste and joy of eating the buns. The main ingredients of Hakka
radish buns are: glutinous rice, white radish, shredded pork, dried shrimp,
mushrooms, etc. In the old days, meat was expensive, and the Hakka people were
only willing to slaughter the poultry and livestock they had raised for a long
time, during the festivals. Therefore, Hakka radish cakes can be said to be a
delicious food that early Hakka people could only enjoy once a year.
Hakka Radish Bun
150 grams of ground pork, 220 grams of
glutinous rice flour, 80 grams of rice flour, 2 slices of dried bean curd, 5
grams of scallions, 80 grams of dried radish, 3 mushrooms, a little cabbage, 6
grams of pepper, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of
1. To make the outer skin: Add the glutinous rice flour and rice flour to 160cc of warm water and mix well with a little salad oil.
2. Soak the dried radish in water and drain dry.
3. To make the inside stuffing: Cut the dried bean curd into cubes, dice the mushroom, add the onion crisps, ground pork, radish and cabbage to a pan, add salt and saute.
4. Wrap the stuffing in the outer skin and steam for 10 minutes in high flame and decorate on a plate.