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Preserved Turnip Omelette (Chai Po Neng)

Cai Po Neng

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This Chinese-style preserved turnip (preserved/salted radish) omelette or better known as chai po neng locally is another humble, childhood favourite often cooked by my mum. It goes so well with porridge. As with most of my mum’s recipes, the ingredients are minimum (just preserved turnip, eggs and garlic) yet so delicious; best of all it’s like an evergreen classic for I never get sick of eating it all these years.

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My mum does not always wash the preserved turnip (chai po) before cooking, but I prefer to do so to get rid of excess saltiness or any dirt (highly recommended by the market uncle who sold me the chai po). Unlike my mum’s long bean omelette and fish cake omelette which is seasoned by salt &/or soy sauce, there is usually no need to salt this omelette at all as the chai po is already very salty.

Cai Po Neng

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30 Responses to “Preserved Turnip Omelette (Chai Po Neng)”

  1. daphne — April 17, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    A classic! I can eat this anyway!


  2. TasteHongKong — April 17, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    Choy po omelette with porridge is already a satisfying meal. I like washing it in all cases anyway : ).


  3. Chris — April 17, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    I love your simple homely dishes. This is one dish which my mom used to cook but I dont know how much chai po to add. Now that you have shared, I shall have this soon. :) thanks for sharing.


  4. Juliana — April 18, 2012 @ 5:20 am

    Yes, I love this omelette…we used to eat this a lot when little…so simple and so tasty. Lots of great childhood memories :)
    Hope you are having a wonderful week ahead!


  5. Stephanie — April 18, 2012 @ 5:47 am

    I wonder if I’ll be able to find preserved turnips because this kind of dinner (simple and tasty and involving eggs) is my very favorite kind.


  6. masterofboots — April 18, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    This is perfect company for porridge.


  7. Almyra Pangestu — April 19, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    I was thinking…what IS chai po, could I get it in Jakarta..hmm
    It turns out I’ve been eating it for my whole life :D
    Only that we call it Tong Chai.
    No one in Indonesia make it into an omelette though, we just scatter it on porridge n scatter it on our soup, I believe we scatter it it everywhere lol!


    • wiffy replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 11:29 am

      In Chinese cooking, we have something similar to chai po called tung chai (preserved winter vegetables) which is commonly used in fish soups and steamed fish, but not quite the same as chai po :)


  8. karen heng — April 25, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

    Hi thanks for sharing all your recipes but for the chai po dish if I am not wrong it is preserve radish instead of turnip.Are they the same?Thank you once again.


    • wiffy replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 11:02 am

      Hi Karen, you are right – did a search and seems that the terms “preserved turnip” and “preserved/salted radish” seemed to be used interchangeably. I think they are the same thing. Thanks for pointing it out to me, updating the recipe with the names.


  9. Platanos, Mangoes and Me! — May 3, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    Never heard of this but I like it…I love learning about new dishes to me and you are such a great teacher.


  10. CL — March 17, 2014 @ 5:50 am

    Are you a Teochew? All the food from your mother’s recipes are traditional Teochew dishes.


    • wiffy replied: — March 17th, 2014 @ 10:03 am

      no I am Hokkein. My mum is Hock Chiew. I have been told her cooking is very Hokkein :)