Hakka Radish Bun (vegetable bun)

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.

Hakka Radish Bun (vegetable bun)

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 sesame oil

Cooking method:

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.