For the abacus seed dough:
1 small yam about 510g (yield 460g mashed yam)
100g tapioca flour
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
- Cut yam into cubes and steam until soft enough to be mashed.
- Add in salt and oil into the hot yam and mash with a fork. Gradually knead in tapioca flour with your hand until it forms a pliable dough and doesn't stick.
- Cut yam dough into 4 pieces. Cover dough to prevent from drying out. Gently roll each piece to form a log. Cut each log into small pieces. Take a small piece and roll into a ball, then press your thumb and index finger in the centre of the ball to form an indentation. Place the 'abacus seeds' on a tray lined with baking paper [abacus seeds can be freeze at this stage] *. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Bring a pot of water with 1/2 tsp salt to the boil. Add a batch of abacus seeds. As they cook, the abacus seeds will rise to the surface of the water.
- Remove with slotted spatula and drain well. Toss the abacus seeds with a little oil to prevent them from sticking together. Repeat with remaining abacus seeds.
For the frying:
1 tsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallots, minced
4 dried shiitake mushroom (soaked until softened, thinly sliced)
1/2 carrot, minced
1 piece firm tofu, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp dried shrimps (soaked and chopped finely)
salt & pepper (to taste)
fish sauce (to taste)
coriander leaves (for garnishing)
- Heat oil in a wok, lightly brown the tofu. Set aside.
- Saute shallots and garlic until fragrant. Add in dried shrimps, shiitake mushroom and fry until aromatic. Then add in carrot and a splash of water. Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes. Then toss in the cooked yam abacus seeds and tofu. Add in sesame oil.
- Season with salt, pepper and fish sauce. Continue frying for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.
* Once frozen, the abacus seeds can be transferred into a plastic bag and freeze up to at least a month. Cook frozen abacus seeds in boiling water in small batches (no need to thaw them).