I understand that some Chinese families will prepare this dish during Chinese New Year and is particularly famous among the Hakkas Chinese. My mother is not a Hakka, she's a Teochew and she enjoys eating this a lot. Infact she loves everything yam...like Or Nee, Yam Kuih..she who doesnt eat dairy, even likes eating a yam cream cake, not just a slice but many slices. I'm not too sure if this is one of the traditional dishes for the Hakkas to have this served during Chinese New Year but this dish has an auspicious meaning, she told me. Abacus is a Chinese calculator, in those days where electronic calculators were not around and not widely used, people here will use abacus to do their arithmetic and counting. My father had one and those days, i could hear him " klik klak klik klak" doing his "maths" using his fingers with the abacus. Why they said this dish is auspicious is because the yam balls are shaped in such a way that they resemble the abacus beads and in a way, it signifies fortune and you will have roaring business and busy counting your money all through the year! LOL! By the way, according to my mum, some also prepare this dish in a soupy version..that is everything in a bowl of soup but i've not seen that before. Mine here is a dry version.
|The Chinese Abacus. Photo from wikipedia|
1 small yam, 230gm ( steamed and mashed )
108gm tapioca flour
Pot of boiling water
When the mashed yam has cooled down by quite a bit, add in the tapioca flour and knead till form a dough. If you find that it's a little difficult to form a dough, you may add in tapioca flour by little. It may appear difficult to form a dough, just keep kneading and knead to form a roll. Cut into small pieces and shape them into balls. Use your thumb to make the dent in the middle. When they are all ready, drop the yam balls into the boiling water, let it cook till they float to the top. Remove from boiling water and sprinkle some oil to lightly coat them. Leave aside.
* Do not tempt to put a lot of tapioca flour for the dough. The more tapioca flour you put in, the more pliable your dough is, the chewier the yam balls , although easier to knead, they will end up being very chewy and taste rubbery. I personally like just a little springy texture. Also sometimes it depends on how starchy or moist the yam is, as long as the tapioca flour that you add in can roughly form a dough, that's fine *
|roll the dough into long..|
|cut into pieces and shape them round|
Rest of the ingredients
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
30gm dried shrimps, soaked in water for 5 mins
50gm dried squids, washed
2 pieces of mushrooms, softened and shredded
1 big piece of black fungus, softened and shredded
salt to taste
chopped spring onions ( optional )
1.Pour abt 2 tbsps of oil into the wok and fry the dried shrimps. When they smell fragrant, add in garlic and shallot and saute them till aromatic. Add in the dried squids, mushroom and black fungus and fry them for a about 3-4 minutes.
2.Throw in the yam balls, stir fry everything in the wok, splash some water round the wok so that it wont get too dry . Add salt and stir them for another few minutes. (Splash water if necessary) Dish up.
I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover