Chinese Yam cakes recipe
Yam Cake Recipe (Or Kuih)
Yam Cake Recipe (Or Kuih) recipe – This is basically a steamed cake made from yam pieces, dried prawns and rice flour. It is then topped with deep fried shallots, spring onions, chillis and dried prawns, and usually served with a chilli dipping sauce.
For the kuih:
1½ bowls yam, diced into 1-2cm cubes
1 bowl rice flour
2 tablespoons wheat starch*
2 bowls water
½ – ¾ bowl dried shrimps (heh bee) – I used ¾ bowl because I cannot express how much I love an abundance of it in or kuih
5 shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon five spice powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
For the topping:
deep fried shallots (I buy mine ready fried from Chinatown)
spring onions, sliced finely
red chillies, sliced finely
dried shrimps (heh bee), chopped finely and fried (optional – you can just put more heh bee in the actual cake)
1. Heat a pan over medium high heat, and fry the onions and dried shrimps until they become aromatic. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the cubed yam to the pan, and fry it with the onion and dried shrimp mixture until it browns.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the rice flour, wheat starch and water, and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Take care to ensure there are no lumps in the mixture.
4. Add the flour mixture into the pan slowly, and stir until everything forms a thick paste.
5. Add the salt, pepper and five spice powder, and mix well.
6. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl/plate and steam over high heat for 45 minutes, or until cooked.
7. To serve, sprinkle with deep fried shallots, chopped spring onions, sliced chillies and chopped dried shrimp. Some chilli sauce on the side is also highly recommended.
* The wheat starch helps to make the or kuih softer in texture. If you can’t find this, you can substitute it with an equal quantity of corn starch.
Whenever I go home to Malaysia, I would always stuff myself crazy with all sorts of kuih (local sweet or savory cake). One of my favorite is or kuih, or yam cake made of yam (in the US, yam is referred as taro). I have never attempted making kuih in the US though. Today, I have invited a fellow Penangite Su-Yin Koay of Bread et Butter to share the savory and mouthwatering or kuih recipe. Bread et Butter is a beautiful blog with many recipes: Malaysian, Chinese, baking, and all sorts of goodies. You can also find culture guide articles bout Malaysia, Penang, etc. Please welcome Bread et Butter to Rasa Malaysia and do visit her wonderful food blog. Now I could only wish that I have some or kuih for my tea break today!
I was very excited when Bee asked me if I would like to write a guest post for her blog–I mean, this was Rasa Malaysia, one of my favourite food blogs out there! She’s taught me so much about Malaysian and Chinese cooking, and it is truly an honour to have a chance to do this.
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed eating is yam cake (“or kuih” in Hokkien, where “or” = yam, “kuih” = snack or cake). It is a popular snack amongst the Malaysian and Singaporean communities, and is basically a steamed kuih made from yam pieces, dried prawns and rice flour. It is then topped with deep fried shallots, spring onions, chillis and dried prawns, and usually served with a chilli dipping sauce.
I grew up eating my grandma’s or kuih, and I remember thinking how it would be so cool if I knew how to make it. However I would always be at school when she made or kuih, so I never really learnt how it was made. And if I were being perfectly honest, I was only really interested in eating it… it also didn’t help that there was always a ready supply of it.
Of course, this changed when I came to England. I have yet to find a restaurant here that serves decent or kuih, which is highly disappointing. So I decided to ask my grandma for her or kuih recipe so I could have a go at making it myself. And you know what – I don’t know why I never tried making this before, because it is actually pretty simple! Sure, there’s a bit of prep work involved in dicing the yam, but apart from that it’s quite a breeze.
The best part of her recipe is that it uses rice bowls as a measure. How brilliant is that? The ratio that’s used is 2 bowls water: 1 bowl flour: 1½ bowls yam. Of course, this means nothing is perfectly accurate in terms of weight, but some degree of variation actually doesn’t alter the final product too much. It also does not matter what size your bowl is, as long as it’s a Chinese style rice bowl (i.e. not a wide and shallow cereal bowl, for instance). Just follow the 2:1:1½ ratio and you’re sorted.
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