Thursday, February 8, 2007

Abacus seeds

The other day Kenny was asking for this dish while reading about it on a magazine, so bought a piece of yam last weekend to try it, forgot to do measurement so the recipe is a rough estimation of what Kenny and I did, I didn't add alot of tapioca flour because partly I ran out of flour at that moment and also tapioca flour is quite difficult to digest, so for my stomach and my mum's stomach sake my dough is softer compare to the usual ones.

600g yam
300g tapioca flour (can add more if want more chewy texture)

½ bowl of dried shrimps (soaked and chop fine)
3-4 mushrooms (soaked and chop fine)
½-3/4 bowl mince meat
1 tbsp mince garlic
1 tbsp shallot

½ tsp oyster sauce
dash of msg
dash of pepper
2-3 tbsp water

1) Peel skin of yam. Place yam in pot, add in water, water should cover 90% of the yam. Boil the yam till soft, use a chopstick to poke into yam, if it goes thru’ w/o much force, then it is ready, do not pour away the water.
2) Place yam with ¼ cup of the water into food processor and blend till its very smooth.

3) Pour out the yam onto a big plate, add tapioca flour and form into a soft dough.

4) Roll the dough into small rods and cut into small sizes, then form into smaller balls and depress it with finger to form a abacus seed shape.

5) Boil a pot of water, add the seeds into boiling water, when seeds float up to the surface, remove it from the water and add to another pot with cool water, drain and set aside.

6) Heat up wok, add about 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of sesame oil, add in shallot and fry till fragrant, add in garlic fry till fragrant. Add in mince meat, fry till cook, add in dried shrimps and fry till fragrant, add in mushroom. Pour in abacus seed, oyster sauce, msg and pepper and continue stir frying, lastly add in 2-3 tbsp of water and fry for another 5 min, test the taste, can add more seasoning if desire. Serve warm.

Below is the recipe written by an ex-colleague few years ago...

Abacus seed recipe (Hakka dish, to serve 4 people)

1. Yam (fist size)
2. Tapioca flour (half kg or less) add more tapioca flour if you want chewy seeds
3. Dried scallop (2 pcs)
4. Minced meat (pork, 50cents)
5. Oyster sauce (half spoonful)
6. Chop garlic
7. Black fungus (half a pc, palm size)
8. Cuttle fish (1 pc, palm size)
9. Mushroom (4 pcs)
10. Dried shrimp (less than a hand full)

Item 3, smash up the scallop
Item 7~9, sock in water and cut into strips; item 10, sock in water and cut into small pcs

Prepare yam paste
1. Boil water in a wok (estimate enough water to submerge yam)
2. Peel skin off yam and cut into about 6~8 blocks
3. When water is boiling, put blocks of yam into wok
4. Close wok, boil for 20~25 minutes
5. Use a chopstick to poke into yam, if it goes thru’ w/o much force, then it is ready

Make abacus seeds
1. Put boiled yam (w/o water) into a mid size bowl
2. Smash yam into a paste with anything you have that can be used
3. When the yam is smashed up, add in the flour and knurl the mixture into dough
4. To make the abacus seed, roll the dough into a rod and cut into size, like an abacus
5. Put a pot of water to boil, put cut up abacus seeds into the boiling pot to cook
6. When the abacus seeds float, remove them into a plate or bowl

Prepare the dish
· Heat up a big spoonful of oil in medium fire in clean wok
· Put in the chop garlic when oil is heated
· When garlic turned slightly brown, put in the dried scallop, minced meat, cuttle fish
and dried shrimp. Stir fry the mixture
· When you smell a fragrance, add in the black fungus, mushroom, oyster sauce and a
3/4 cup of water
· Mix the ingredient well and close the wok to simmer for 10 minutes
· Your Hakka abacus seed dish is ready to be served with parsley and fried onion

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