Radish cake with crab and hot mint

  • medium
  • 6, plus leftovers
  • 2 hours 30 minutes make the radish cake 1–2 days in advance, plus the broth simmers for 2 hours
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Inspired by the Chinese turnip cake, Sam Buckley uses the Korean radishes grown at his rooftop kitchen garden The Landing to create a similar dish. He pairs the radish with crab, roasting the shells to make a deep and savoury broth, and tops it with a mixture of the brown and white crab meat. A real stunner of a dish that takes a little patience but is well worth the wait.

First published in 2021

Sam says: 'This is another preparation that relies on a plant that we grow using seeds from Korea. We grow this Korean radish which has a wonderful spice, direct and punchy. In 2021 we had an unexpected glut during a heatwave so we had to find a way of using a lot of them fast. We had already started pickling and fermenting them so we decided to make a radish cake similar to a dish popular in Beijing. After cooking it a few different ways we found that frying was the best. We topped it with succulent crab meat from Cornwall using the shells to make a light broth. One of the herbs we often use to garnish from the landing is hot mInt (also known as Vietnamese coriander).'




Radish cake

  • 250g of Korean radish, or turnip works as a substitute
  • rice flour
  • salt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Crab broth

  • 1 crab, weighing approx. 1kg
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • fruit vinegar, such as raspberry (Sam uses a homemade plum vinegar), to taste
  • 1 dash of vegetable oil
  • salt

To serve


  • Large steamer



The radish cake is best made a few days in advance. To prepare the radish cake, peel then grate the radish into a pan, sprinkle it with salt and leave to cure for 30 minutes. After this time, use a clean tea towel to squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the grated radish, reserving the liquid in a bowl below. Place the squeezed grated radish flesh back into the pan

  • 250g of Korean radish, or turnip works as a substitute
  • salt

Weigh the dry radish. Times that weight by 3 and add that amount of the reserved liquid back into the pan (using some water to top up if necessary). Halve the dry radish weight and add that amount of rice flour into the radish mixture. Stir to combine then place over a medium heat, stirring all the time until the mixtures begins to turn translucent

  • rice flour

Transfer to terrine mould lined with cling film, then cover and place the terrine into a large steamer (set at 100°C if using a steam oven) for around 30 minutes. Leave to cool, then empty out the cake onto a board. It is best to keep the cake in the fridge for a day or two to dry out before use


​​Place the crab in a large steamer basket and steam for 12 minutes, then place in a bowl of ice to cool

  • 1 crab, weighing approx. 1kg

Once cooled the crab can be broken down and the white meat separated from the brown meat. Watch our how-to video here to see how to do this. Set aside the white and brown meat in 2 separate bowls and keep the shells too


To make the crab broth, preheat an oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6. Place the crab shells on a tray and drizzle with a small splash of oil. Place the tomatoes on a separate tray. Roast both in the hot oven until the aroma of crab shells is present and the tomatoes are collapsed and caramelised – about 15-20 minutes (though it may not be the same amount of time for both)


Whilst the shells are roasting, use a hand blender to pulse the reserved brown meat until smooth, then pass through a sieve to ensure it is completely smooth. Reserve in the fridge


Transfer the roasted shells to a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, skim off any foam from the surface then add the roasted tomatoes and simmer over a low heat for 2 hours


Pass the crab and tomato broth through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Reduce over a medium heat and keep checking for the desired concentration. When you are happy with the flavour remove from the heat then add salt and a little fruit vinegar to taste

  • salt
  • fruit vinegar, such as raspberry (Sam uses a homemade plum vinegar) , to taste

Portion the radish cake into finger-sized pieces (any leftover cake can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and makes a great snack with some soy sauce for dipping). Place a deep pan of oil over a high heat and just before it starts to smoke, deep-fry the radish cakes (working in batches if needed) until a deep golden brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper

  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

To serve, mix the white crab meat with a spoonful of the brown and season. Place a finger of radish cake in the bottom of each bowl and top with some of the seasoned white crab meat and a spoonful of the smooth brown meat. Pour a little of the hot broth around and garnish with your selection of herbs

First published in 2021

With an arsenal of innovative experimental preserves, his own rooftop kitchen garden and relationships with the best producers in the UK, Sam Buckley works with his team in the airy open kitchen to create multi-course tasting menus of pure magic at his Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In.

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