Category: Japanese

Barley Tea

Barley Tea

Barley tea, or mugicha or boricha, is a thirst quenching beverage that is enjoyed in many parts of Asian (including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China), especially during their steamy summer. It’s not really a tea, as it’s made from roasted barley grains. It has an earthy, nutty read more

Okra Natto

Okra Natto

Today we’re really going to put the funky in Funky Asian Kitchen. Okra Natto is a mashup I made from two beloved Japanese dishes. It’s an acquired taste for sure, but we wouldn’t be living up to our name if we didn’t challenge you on read more

Turnip Cake

Turnip Cake

I’m a huge fan of savory pancakes for dinner. Much more so than I am pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast. And this recipe is one of my favorites. It’s my Japanese influenced take on a popular Chinese dim sum, Turnip Cake. No actual turnips, though. My version is loaded with daikon radish and Chinese sausage, and it’s so flavorful it doesn’t even need a dipping sauce.

turnip cake ingredients

Make the Turnip Cake Batter

I start by prepping the dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and daikon radish. The dried shrimp add a pop of briny funk, and the Chinese sausage bring its characteristic smoky sweetness.

There are two main kinds of dried shrimp you will find at the Asian grocery stores. One is kind of like shrimp jerky: hard and kind of chewy. I use this type of dried shrimp frequently when I want a light shrimpy flavor but also that toothsome texture. But today we are using a different kind of dried shrimp. This dried shrimp is kind of papery and translucent. It’s mostly shell, there’s no real “meat” to it, and it has a deeper ocean flavor. If you’ve tried Asian shrimp chips before (my personal kryptonite), this is that flavor. I like to toast the shrimp for a couple of minutes which which gives the shrimp a more complex, less fishy scent.

If you can’t find Chinese sausage, you could sub with another smoked sausage, bacon, or ham and it would still be delicious. But the sausage is so good, it’s worth seeking out. We only use one link out of the package. But you can freeze the rest until you are ready to use it. It’s great in my Coconut Curry Noodles, grilled and served in tart Thai style salads, or even pan seared and served for breakfast with a couple of eggs.

fragrant turnip cake

sausage turnip cake

Combine the sausage, daikon, and shrimp in a large bowl. Add the minced scallions.

Once these ingredients are prepped, it’s time to make the turnip cake batter. I add all purpose flour and also some glutinous rice flour, also called mochi or sweet rice flour. It adds a fun chewy texture. The liquid in the daikon is enough to turn the flour into a thick batter.

Cook the Turnip Cake

I like to make one big turnip cake, and then cut it into wedges. That way it’s all cooked at once and ready to devour! We want this to get really nice and crispy, so it’s important to start with a hot pan. Heat it first, then add oil so that the oil doesn’t smoke and get bitter.

I like my turnip cake extra crispy, so I add a little sesame oil to the pan and then cook it for an extra minute or two on both sides.

Then all that’s left to do is cut this gorgeous baby into wedges and serve!

Get on the pancakes for dinner train, and give this deeply savory and crispy Turnip Cake a try! Let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below. And don’t forget to show off your creations by tagging us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you.



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recipe turnip feature

Turnip Cake

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 10 ounces daikon radish 
  • 4 Tablespoons (40 grams) glutinous rice flour
  • 4 Tablespoons (35 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons dried baby shrimp (the translucent papery kind)
  • 1 link dried chinese sausage, about 2 ounces
  • 2 scallions minced
  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil


  1. Place the baby shrimp in a small dry skillet and heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, tossing regularly. You should smell a deep oceany scent. Take off of the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Cut the sausage in half lengthwise and then into thin slices across to yield little half moon pieces. Set aside.
  3. Trim and peel the daikon. Next, grate the daikon into a bowl. You can use the extra fine setting on a mandoline or the small holes on a standard box grater. 
  4. Pour the grated daikon into a colander and let the excess juice drain off. Put the daikon back in the bowl.
  5. Add the glutinous rice flour, flour, salt, dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and scallion to the bowl and mix well with a spatula. 
  6. Heat a medium 10” non-stick skillet over medium heat for several minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and tilt the skillet to coat the pan.
  7. Scrape the daikon mixture into the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula and shape it into a round pancake about ¾” thick.
  8. Use the spatula to smooth the surface of the cake as well as all around the edge.
  9. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the bottom has a nice browned color. 
  10. Use a flat spatula to loosen the cake and pick it up. Then carefully flip the cake over to the other side. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 3 minutes.
  11. Take off the lid and cook for another minute.
  12. Lift the pancake and add the sesame oil to the pan. Flip the pancake again and cook for another minute. I like the crust super crispy so I usually flip the pancake yet again and cook for another minute-cooking both sides of the pancake twice.
  13. Transfer the turnip cake to a cutting board. Cut it into 8 wedges like a pizza.
  14. Transfer the turnip cake to a serving plate and serve.



*This pancake is highly seasoned and does not need a sauce. However, you can serve it with a little chili paste if you like a little kick. 

*It is important to use the papery dried baby shrimp which are light and salty and not the dried baby shrimp that are like shrimp jerky. If you can only find the jerky style baby shrimp, soak them in warm water for 15-20 minutes, drain the water, and roughly chop them before adding them to the batter. 

*If you do not have any chinese sausage feel free to substitute Japanese style smoked sausages, bacon, ham, or even a small amount of kielbasa style sausages.

Keywords: mochi flour, savory pancakes, daikon radish, appetizers, snacks

Burdock Chips

Burdock Chips

Sometimes you just need a crispy, crunchy snack. Instead of reaching for some overly processed, sodium laden bag of chips, try making a batch of these Burdock Chips. The crunch you crave, with the added bonus of all the nutrition benefits of burdock root. Full read more

Red Bean Rice

Red Bean Rice

Red Bean Rice is a special occasion dish in Japan. Graduations, new babies, weddings, holidays…Red Bean Rice makes its welcomed appearance. Savory and comforting, the rice takes on a red hue from the azuki beans that symbolizes good luck and prosperity. It’s an usual dish read more

Shiso Chicken Patties

Shiso Chicken Patties

You have to love a recipe that’s good either hot or at room temperature, that makes a perfect appetizer but is equally happy to play a more starring role, and makes for an effortlessly beautiful presentation. These Shiso Chicken Patties check all those boxes.  This Japanese take on chicken burgers will make you forget those dry, bland burgers forever!

shiso chicken patties ingredients

Shiso Leaves

Shiso is a Japanese herb known for its large jagged leaves and bright, refreshing flavor. Sometimes called Shiso mint, it is related to the mint family, but has a more complex flavor, with hints of cinnamon and anise. They are frequently used as garnishes, you’ve probably seen them underneath pieces of sashimi at sushi restaurants. But they can do so much more! The herb is used twice in these Shiso Chicken Patties-both to flavor the meat mixture, and also to wrap around the patties, making a striking presentation.

Shiso is called perilla in American markets. Perilla is an umbrella term for many species in the family of mint. Japanese Shiso and Korean Perilla look alike and are related, but they are not interchangeable. You can use Korean perilla if you like, but know that it will have a different flavor.

leaves ume shiso chicken

Shiso Chicken Patties Seasoning

Move over dry, boring, flavorless, chicken burgers. We have a few tricks that turn these into absolute flavor bombs. First I add some umami superstars: oyster sauce, miso, soy sauce, and mirin. These will flavor the patties as well as help to keep them moist. Shiso leaves and minced scallions provide freshness and a little bite. Another ingredient that may surprise you-tofu! The tofu adds a bouncy, springy texture to these, and also helps to keep them from drying out.

tofu shiso chicken patties


Then add the cornstarch, sprinkling it over the bowl, and mix again:

Shape the Shiso Chicken Patties

Oil your hands and shape the balls into smooth ovals:

Cook the Shiso Chicken Patties

The goal of pan frying these is to try and preserve the green color of the Shiso leaves. So we cook them low and slow, using the lid to help cook the patties through. Once you cover the patties, turn down the heat, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

You could make a meal out of these for just a couple people, but I usually serve them as an appetizer. They have a lot of seasoning already, so it’s really not necessary to serve them with any sauce. If you must, a little chili sauce, is a nice option for those who want a kick.

I love a meal of lots of little different bites. To make fun dinner out of small plates, try serving these with:

Leftovers are just as good heated for a minute or two in the microwave or even cold. They’re also great additions for an Asian type lunchbox!

I can’t wait for you to try these Sushi Chicken Patties! When you do please take a moment to rate the recipe and comment on it below. And you can show off your creations by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen.


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recipe card shiso chicken patties

Shiso Chicken Patties

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Japanese




  • 2 Tablespoon miso 
  • 2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon oyster sauce 
  • 2 Tablespoon mirin

Chicken Patties:

  • 7 oz soft or medium firm tofu (about ½ block)
  • 16 oz ground chicken (use dark meat)
  • 10 shiso leaves, finely chopped 
  • 2 scallion, minced
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 16 shiso leaves
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil plus extra for shaping meatballs


  1. Combine the miso, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and mirin in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel or 2-3 layers of paper towel and squeeze to remove most of the water.
  3. Add the squeezed tofu, ground chicken, chopped shiso leaves, and scallion to the seasoning bowl.
  4. Mix well, breaking up the tofu with your hands until the mixture is sticky and all of the liquid has been absorbed into the meat. Sprinkle the mixture with cornstarch and mix again.
  5. Divide the mixture into 16 equal portions.
  6. Oil your hands and then roll the portions of meat into a ball and then a small oval about ½ inch thick. Set aside on a plate.
  7. Wrap the patties with a shiso leaf around the middle of each patty.
  8. Heat a large skillet over medium low heat for several minutes. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the pan.
  9. Place the patties in the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes until light golden brown. Then turn over the patties.
  10. Turn down the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom of the patties is golden brown.
  11. Transfer the shiso chicken patties to a plate and serve immediately.


*These patties are great hot or at room temperature.

Keywords: shiso, japanese, chicken, appetizers, tofu,