Hakka Taro Abacus Seeds by woon.heng ❤️
算盘子 (Suànpán zǐ) or more commonly known as Yam Abacus seeds in Malaysia is a very unique and meaningful dish that’s served on special celebrations.
Recipe, courtesy of woon.heng’s aunt (with modification) (serves 3)
– 250g taro, cut into cubes
– 125 g tapioca flour
– pinch of salt and pepper
– water to cook the taro
Toppings & Seasonings
– 4oz firm tofu
– 1/4 cup chopped shallots
– 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
– 1/4 cup of sliced: wood ear, mushrooms
– 1 tablespoon vegan ‘oyster’ sauce & soy sauce
– a handful of chopped cilantro & green onions
– 1/2 cup water or veggie stock
– white pepper
Place taro cubes in a small pot and add just enough water to cover the taro. Cook over high heat until taro is tender. Alternatively, steam taro until soft. Transfer taro into a bowl and mash it into a fine paste & season. Stir in the tapioca starch and knead into a soft dough. Pinch a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball, then make a dent in the middle using your thumb and index finger.
Cook the taro abacus seeds in hot water until they float up, dish out into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and rub them with some oil.
Heat a non-stick pan with oil, then sauté shallots until translucent. Add in the mushrooms, tofu, wood ear mushrooms, garlic, and stir fry until aromatic. Season accordingly. Add the water & let the mixture simmer for a minute. Add in the cooked taro abacus seeds and toss everything together until well-combined. Serve warm with a side of chili.
*Allium free – skip shallots, garlic
[Recipe & Photography by woon.heng]
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