Friday, January 24, 2014

Hakka Yam Abacus Seeds [客家算盘子]

Yam Gnocchi
 Yam Gnocchi


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:
oil
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).


8 comments:

  1. Hi Veronica
    This is quite torturing seeing this dish early in the morning when Im about to have my boring breakfast.... I would love to give this a try one day. I always thought this dish is quite troublesome to prepare though I have come across few bloggers have posted their abacus dish. Seriously speaking, I have never eaten this dish before.

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  2. This is in my to do list since last year..
    Yours look really yummy. Inspired me to make this ASAP !

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  3. After seeing this, you make me feel like eating this dish straightaway.... Gosh ,

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  4. I'd love this dish, bookmarked but don't know when will I attempt it :)

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  5. Oh for a minute I thought that there was a new item called abacus seeds! I was just thinking "wow that's new!" :P They're so cute!

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  6. Wow, you are definitely a very talented person, all your cooking looks professionally done.
    "Happy & Prosperous Chinese New Year to you and family"

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  7. These look soo yummy...!! I have never tried yam abacus seeds before but I can imagine that I would love these as I love foods with chewy texture like mochi and bubble tea ;). Great blog with delicious recipes, by the way :)!

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