23 October 2014

Hakka Yam Abacus Seeds 客家算盘子

My first attempt on yam abacus seeds was three years ago, really missed the chewy and bouncy texture! I want to make this for long, eventually the right moments come. Making this dish take lot of time, need to knead the yam dough then divide it into individual small seeds. I enjoyed the whole process, especially when scooping out the abacus seeds from the boiling water, too excited to find out the texture, I gobbled down a few pieces of pipping hot yam abacus seeds! Munching the chewy texture, I grinned widely and felt like dancing! 

Today, read a post by a blogger, she mentioned she was hiding from blogging when her creations get public attention. She afraid people might judge and comment on her thought, that's why she hide. Luckily, now she comes to realize that she shouldn't do that. I was touched by what she mentioned about "Having enough courage to share that piece of your heart and soul with the world." 

When I began my blog, it was not like what it is today. I continue, stop and continue, this repeated many times. Most of the time feel like stop blogging because the people who know me come to know the existence of this blog. This deter me from writing my thought, yes, I afraid people judge me too. Some friends asked me what this blog for? Why you do it? ... Sometimes, really hard to explain why and they simply couldn't accept the simple intention I have on blogging. This blog is all about me growing up in my baking and cooking journey, record down the days I spend in the kitchen, feeling love by my friends and family, sharing that small piece of my heart with you who read my blog. Yes, we need to have enough courage to do that.   

Handmade each of them, I got two big trays

Yam Abacus Seeds after cooking in the boiling water, chewy and bouncy texture! 

(yield: 4 plates)
Ingredients for yam abacus seeds:
800g steamed yam, mashed
400g tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
250ml boiling water 
2~3 tbsp corn oil

Ingredients for stir-frying the yam abacus seeds:
4 clove garlic, minced
4 shallot, sliced
4 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked and finely chopped 
250g minced meat 
6 mushroom, soaked and thinly sliced 
6 black fungus, soaked and thinly sliced 

3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
a dash of peppers

some salt (to taste)
1 tbsp sesame oil

Some cooking oil
250ml water


1. Mix all ingredients together and knead till the dough able to form soft smooth dough. Make sure the flour is well incorporated. (If the dough is very wet, add more tapioca flour)

2. Wet the hands with some cooking oil (to prevent the dough stick on hands), divide the dough into small balls about 5g each. Press your thumb print for the imprint. 

3. Boil a pot of water with a dash of oil in it.

4. Add the abacus seeds one piece at a time to prevent it from sticking together. 
5. Once the abacus seeds is floating, it is cooked. Drain the water and put the abacus seeds into a bowl. Add some oil to prevent it from sticking.
6. Stir-fry the yam abacus seeds: Heat cooking oil and saute shallot and garlic till fragrant. 
7. Add dried shrimps and continue to fry till fragrant.
8. Add minced pork, mushroom, black fungus and fry till everything is thoroughly mixed.
9. Add seasoning and water, bring to boil. 
10. Add the abacus seeds and stir fry till the liquid dried up. Serve hot.


  1. This is a beautiful blog. Blogging takes much dedication and is a journey that helps you to grow.
    Your food looks wonderful and quite healthy. Catherine

  2. Hi Tze,
    I agreed with you, sharing what you have learned in your little world the kitchen really need lots of courage. I ever have this same feeling too but now I don't really care what people think. But instead I think we should be proud of ourselves improving our baking and cooking skill each and everyday to preparing yummy food for our love ones. Tze, you are awesome, I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes through blogging.
    Your yam abacus makes me drool. I am a Hakka, this is one of my old time favorites.

  3. This looks so lovely and you made it from scratch! That's a real achievement I must say:)

  4. Don't stop blogging ya, cos I enjoy looking at your recipes and photos. In a way, I really enjoy blogging bcos of all the lovely ppl I get to know and meet online :)

  5. Hi Tze, I think we kept missing each other's posting. Both kids & I had been sick but now all recovered. Never tried hakka yam abacus before though my mum is a Hakka ren, so strange isn't it but your dish looked delicious!

  6. Don't ever give up. I enjoy reading your learning journey.


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