Easy Singaporean Fried Radish Cake (Carrot Cake) Step-By-Step Recipe

Easy Singaporean Fried Radish Cake (Carrot Cake) Step-By-Step Recipe

Discover the surprising world of Singapore’s “carrot cake” – a savory pan-fried delicacy that’s far from the sweet dessert you might expect. This dish, known locally as chai tow kway, features crispy, tender cubes of glutinous radish cake nestled in a flavorful egg omelette.

Imagine stepping off the plane in Singapore, surrounded by exotic sights and smells. You spot a sign for “carrot cake” at a bustling hawker stand, but as you approach, you realize this is no ordinary dessert. The sizzle of a giant wok and the enticing aroma of savory ingredients tell you you’re in for a culinary adventure.

Chai tow kway is a beloved Singaporean street food that showcases the artful combination of textures and flavors. The star of the show is a glutinous rice flour ‘cake’ made with white radish (or daikon), cut into cubes and pan-fried to crispy perfection before being enveloped in a savory egg omelette.

The radish cake cubes have a mild flavor and a uniquely soft, pleasant texture. The omelette is typically enhanced with umami-rich ingredients like fish sauce, preserved vegetables, garlic, and green onions. For those who like it spicy, a dab of chili sauce is the perfect finishing touch.

While you can find two variations of this dish – white or black (which includes dark sweet soy sauce) – many enthusiasts prefer the original white version for its balanced flavors. This recipe guides you through creating your own homemade radish cake from scratch, resulting in a more flavorful base than store-bought versions.

Though making the radish cake takes some time, the result is well worth the effort. Plus, you’ll have extra to freeze for future cravings. Let’s dive into this authentic Singaporean street food experience!

Authentic Singapore Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway) Recipe


  • 1 large daikon radish (about 28 ounces), grated
  • 1 3/4 cups (about 7 ounces) rice flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese preserved vegetables (see note)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


  1. Begin by placing the grated radish in a large skillet or saucepan with a lid. Add 1/3 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and gently cook until the radish becomes translucent and tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the lid and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). In a small bowl, combine the rice flour with 1 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 cup water, whisking until smooth. If you notice any lumps, strain the mixture. Incorporate the cooled radish and any juice that has accumulated.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a cake pan and cover with foil, making sure to poke a few holes for steam to escape. Place this pan in a larger roasting pan filled halfway with hot water. Bake until the cake is just firm, approximately 50 minutes. For easy slicing, allow it to cool and firm up completely in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Once chilled, remove the cake from the refrigerator and cut it into thirds. Cube one of these pieces into 3/4-inch squares and set aside. The remaining pieces can be wrapped and frozen for future use.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with the fish sauce. Heat the oil in a wok or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the radish cake cubes and fry, stirring occasionally, until they turn golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.
  6. Introduce the preserved vegetables, minced garlic, and white pepper to the wok. Fry until the aromas are released, about 30 seconds. Pour the egg mixture and scallions over the radish cake. Cook by folding the eggs from the sides towards the center, gently pressing to help the omelette hold its shape. Continue until the eggs are fully cooked. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.


Mei cai, or Chinese preserved vegetables, are traditionally fermented in a salt brine. Preserved turnip is commonly used in this dish, but you may find jars simply labeled as ‘preserved vegetables’. These can be found in Asian supermarkets. If unavailable, you can omit them or use a smaller amount of sauerkraut as a substitute.

While this recipe uses an oven method with a water bath, traditionally the radish cake is steamed. If you have a steamer basket large enough to hold an 8- or 9-inch cake pan, you can use this method instead. Simply pour the mixture into the pan, place it in the steamer basket, and simmer gently until the cake is just firm.

Don’t worry if the eggs and radish cake break apart during cooking – a perfectly cohesive omelette isn’t necessary for this rustic street food dish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
571 Calories
38g Fat
43g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 571
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 372mg 124%
Sodium 1266mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 27mg 134%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 680mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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