Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hakka Yam Abacus (算盘子)

I love yam, be it yam cake, yam kueh, yam buns or even yam bread loaf, (just to name a few) I won't miss a chance to try them out. And it goes without surprise that I love the Hakka  dish: yam abacus. But somehow it never occur to me to make it myself because I felt making those lovely chewy yam abacus can be pretty daunting. :P Until recently, when I saw Lena post up her version and after reading her recipe, it just strike me, it ain't as complicated as I imagined it to be! Thanks Lena!! *muaks*  So here it is, my first attempt of Hakka Yam Abacus(算盘子).

 I did make slight changes to the recipe to suit my liking. Here is my version with adaption to Lena's:

Ingredients for Yam Abacus (serves 4)
For the Abacus
240g yam fresh which has been peeled & steamed
110g glutinous rice flour
100-125 ml water (depending how wet or dry is the steamed yam)
2 tbsp fried shallot oil
pinch of salt
A pot of boiling water
  • After you have steamed the yam, place it in a large mixing bowl together with the salt. Then add in the tapioca flour while the yam is still warm. You can either use your hands to knead the yam, flour, water and shallot oil together, or be like lazy me, use the mixture to beat it together to forma soft pliable dough.
  • Roll into a long log and cut into chunks.
  • Roll the chunks in between your palms and roll round into balls. 
  • Press flat and use a chop stick end to make a indentation in the middle.
  • Boil the abacus in the pot og boiling water till it floats. Scoop out and drizzle some sesame oil/ vegetable oil over. Mix to coat and set aside first.
Accompanied ingredients:
2 garlic, minced
200g minced pork, marinated with 1/2tsp light soy sauce and dash of pepper
5 ears dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
50g dried squid, cut thinly
5 medium dried wood-ear mushroom, soaked and sliced
3 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chicken seasoning
  • In a work, add 2 tsp oil at medium fire. Stir fry the garlic till fragrant, then add in the dried shrimp and dried squid. Add in the minced pork and cook till opaque.
  • Cook for a couple minutes till aromatic, add in the mushrooms and cook a  couple more minutes.
  • Add in the yam abacus and stir fry till everything mixed. Add some water if needed.
  • Lastly add in the seasoning and stir well.
  • Dish up and serve while still hot.
Although I have tasted better ones, but I am still pretty please with the outcome! The texture of the abacus was soft and chewy...with a hint of yam, yum!

Definitely a great dish to serve up during the Chinese New Year table. Anything that associate with calculation (算), the Chinese will like! Why? So that we are good at counting our money, haha!

I am very happy to submit this post to Sonia's blog event :Chinese New Year Delights 2013 新春送礼.

Okay, got to go, tomorrow is another long day! Cheers!


Cass @ 揾到食 said...

Oh...my all time favourite :)

Zoe said...

I saw this at Lena' blog and wish to cook this too :D

Chef and Sommelier said...

Hi Bee! Now I know why women are so "calculative" .... haha.. Happy CNY!

Unknown said...

I want to learn how to make this... your dish looks really delicious.

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...


lena said...

well done, bee! it wont be any more daunting after your first attempt! thanks for the mentioned. Let's us look forward to count more money this year!! yay!!

Unknown said...

I like dishes with yam. Sure can have more then a bowl serving :)

Amy said...

I don't think I've tried this dish before and it looks pretty and tasty! :) I love yam too. Let me check out the recipe to see if I can make it. ;)

Peng said...

I yet to attempt this dish also! Looks rather simple, will try it out one of these days ;)

Small Small Baker said...


Rosita Vargas said...

Tiene un aspecto muy bueno y saludable me encanta ,saludos abrazos y abrazos..

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Vincent, I believe I have already added my site to Petite chef before, thus I have this icon on the right side. But thanks for inviting again, perhaps I should double check later at your site to make sure mine is there. :)

DG said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai! wishing you and your family a very happy chinese new year!

Unknown said...


Yamiiiii!!! hakka yam abacus is look so delicious I am waiting to eat, thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

Thanks For blog.