February 02, 2013

Hakka Yam Abacus Seeds .. 算盘子



 I am a Hakka (Dabu) girl:) My grandparents from are Hakkas from the Dabu county of the Guangdong province. They migrated here (Malaysia) since young. I lived with my grandparents when i was little in a big house of 10 rooms, 1 big sitting room, 1 big dinning room and a huge kitchen. My grand ma(AH Nen) was a good cook. My mum learned most of her Hakka delicacies from my grand ma and now i learn from my mum:) 
Dabu Hakka address their grand father as Ah Tar and grand ma as Ah Nei..interesting right:D

我的祖父祖母是来自客家, 大埔镇, 广东省. 年轻时就来到了南. 在这落地生根. 所以呢, 我之小就是个客家大埔妹现在就是位大埔'安娣' :p
我之小就跟祖父祖母住在老屋. 老屋是间10房, 1个大厅, 1 个大饭厅和1个超大的厨房. 祖母的厨乙很棒, 能煮好吃的客家菜和做好吃的糕点. 我妈妈的客家菜大多都跟祖母学的. 我呢!! 就跟我妈妈学的.

这到算盘子是道大埔, 客家菜. 是一道很好吃充满香气和有的咬的一道菜. 哈哈:p 为什么说是有的咬呢?? 如果你有吃过你就知道我在说'有的咬'的意思. 是芋丸口感QQ加上配料如黑木耳, 香菇, 鱿鱼, 虾米, 肉碎和青葱的脆和爽口. 

This yam abacus seed is made of yam and tapioca flour. It taste chewy, gooey and full of yam aroma. The rest of the ingredients like cuttlefish strips, shredded mushroom , mince meat, pounded dried shrimps and spring onion makes this dish even tastier.

Wanna try a piece?? 来来...请你吃吧!! :D
We, Hakkas eats Fried Yam Abacus Seeds (Suan Pan Zi) on festive occassion. 
The Hakkas (which liternally means guest people) were named such because they were a migratory group. Their cuisine tends to be made from very hearty ingredients that will keep (think salt and oil). (No wonder my mil and fil (which is hopoh hakkas) always have strong flavour in cooking. Their food is quite salty and oily sometimes.) Hence the use of the hardy yam here. Also Hakkas have a stereotype of being good with money, so the yam gnocci taking on the image of the seeds of the abacus counting board allude to that.
(Part of this information is from here.. this post is also writing about Hakka suan pan zi.)

Yam dough have made into yam abacus seeds and it is ready to cook..算盘子做好了,可以拿去煮了:)

This is my little Sous chef..LOL..see how busy he is :D He even make something different to the  yam abacus seed...看看, 我的小厨师很忙哦! 他在帮忙把算盘子捏好. 他还捏了他自己的花样 XD

This is the yam abacus seeds done  by my little Sous chef...Oh!!! let see what is the different...一盘捏好的算盘子, 要送去煮了...看!!有不一样的形状哦!! (我家小厨的杰作(><*)

The top 2 pieces is done by mui and the bottom 2 pieces is done by the Sous chef..lol He is trying to be naughty making a special kind of his own..lol!!
上两棵是阿mui做的而下方是小厨(mui的小儿)做的哦..
是不是2000年后的新生后的感觉?? 哈哈



Suan Pan Zi/ Hakka Yam Abacus Seeds
Recipe source: mui's mum/ ah nei(grand ma)

Prepared the yam abacus seeds

Formula: 2.5 part yam to 1 part tapioca flour (mum's preference)

The ratio of yam and flour depends on individual preference. My Mum prefer a more yam fragrance flavour, yam abacus seeds. Commercial wise are using less yam and more flour or half to half (1 part yam to 1 part flour) which make the yam seeds keep longer in freezer but it gives a much starchier, chewier and less yam fragrant seeds. Trying out varies combination of how much yam to how much flour will leads you to your favourite balance of flavour and bite.

Ingredients;

600g ( 1 斤) yam 
240g tapioca flour
a little hot water
  1. Peel and cut yam into slices. 
  2. Steam yam for 15-20 minutes or until soft and cooked (check if a chopstick will poke through the yam)
  3. Place steamed yam into a large mixing bowl and mashed it into paste with a masher or a fork.
  4. Add tapioca flour, add hot water (boling hot) and using a mixer with K beater attached to blend well. (Do not blend to mashed yam because doing this will cause the yam to become starchy n not floury.)
  5. When it comes into a dough. Pinch a small piece roll into a small ball. With your thumb(bottom) and pointer finger(top) make a slight depression in the centre so that it will look like a abacus beads. Do try to make all(the abacus yam seeds/beads) in the same size so that they will cooked evenly. 
Time to cook the yam abacus seeds by boiling.
  1. Boiled the yam abacus seeds in a large pot of hot boiling water. Boiled them in small batch so that it is easily to managed. Stir a little to prevent them from sticking together. Boiled until the seeds floats on the surface of the hot water about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Dish out the seeds with a strainer and add 1-2 tbsp oil mixed well to prevent the seeds from sticking. Rest the seeds in a sieve to drain away extra water.
Prepare the side ingredients to fried the yam abacus seeds

1 whole dried Cutterfish (about 25g) soaked till soften and cut into strips
4-5 cloves  garlic .. finely chopped
30g dried shrimps (har mi) .. washed, soaked for 10-15 minutes
drained, keep the soaked water and pounded or chopped finely
4-5 pieces  mushroom .. soaked till soft and sliced into strips
30g large cloud ear mushroom (black) .. soaked till soft and slice into strips
250g mince pork .. prefer with a little fat
2 tbsp spring onion .. chopped
2 tsbp coriander .. chopped
some cooking oil

Seasoning:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fish sauce

To do:
  1. Heat up enough cooking oil in a wok. 
  2. Add in chopped garlic, stir fried until fragrant.
  3. Add in pounded dried shrimps and strips cuttlefish. Stir fried until these are really fragrant and dried. **how do you know whether this is ready?? Just see the cuttlefish strips, if its ready the cuttlefish strips will jump and wiggle in the wok..that mean it dry and ready :D
  4. Add in mushroom strips and cloud ear strips. Stir fried for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in a little more oil if there is not enough oil. Add in mince pork, stir fried for 5 minutes or until it is cooked.
  6. Add in salt, pepper and fish sauce, stir fried to combine.
  7. Pour in yam seeds and stir fried to combine.
  8. Spoon in 2-3 tbsp of soaked dried shrimp water, then add in chopped spring onion and coriander and stir fried for 2 minutes.
  9. Dish up and serve hot or warm..:D
I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013, 





Hope you will ENJOY this Hakka (Dabu) festive dish as much as i do...:D

46 comments:

  1. I know Im definitely will enjoy this dish very much as I love to eat yam. This yam abacus takes some time to make but I guss it is worth it because it is so yummy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, if you love yam, you will love this.
      Yes, it is quite a lot of work but I can tell you. You would regret it :D

      mui

      Delete
  2. 这道要学起来,看到用芋头做的!我的最爱~一定很棒!嘻嘻…
    跟你说噢!我做了十年客家媳妇,还不曾吃过这道耶!哈

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 晓,
      你的厨艺那么好。这个绝对难不到你的!
      不成吃过啊! 没问题,下回我煮一定送点给你吃:)

      Delete
  3. 梅梅。。。
    =P 虽说我也是客家妹,可就不大爱这道小吃,不知是不是外头做得不够好。。。
    我想来你家拜访试试真材实料的客家小吃呀!!哈哈哈哈!!
    恭喜发财!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 莎莎,据我所知外头的粉多过芋头所以没有芋头的香气。如果你喜欢芋头糕,我保证你一定喜欢这个算盘子。
      据说吃了算盘子很会算,是很多钱好算。财源滚滚来呢!哈哈〜

      Delete
  4. Hi Mui Mui! My late mum was also a Hakka but I did not have the chance to try this when she was around. It was only later when I grew up that I came to know and love this dish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alvin,
      This fried yam abacus taste so much difference if it is homemade.
      By the way are you a half Hakka?

      Delete
  5. I loves this dish, but a lot of work...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon,
      I always make the Yam abacus seeds ahead so it will be like not that much of work at once when you wanna cook it.

      Delete
  6. It is interesting to learn and cook the traditional dishes. I like Hakka 算盘子 especially homemade.
    Yours looks yummy!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Esther,
      Yes it is. My mum learned from my grand ma and now I learned from my mum.
      You too can try this out:D

      Delete
  7. you know what, my mom is a Hokkien, but dont know since which year, she started to cook yam abacus seeds during CNY, she said this dish sound like count money never ending, hahaha..Thanks for sharing your Ah Mah recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonia,
      Your mum is so brilliant. Although she is Hokkien but she knows eating this will have lots of money to count so she make this for her family...lol

      Delete
  8. your grandpa's house was indeed very big with 10 rooms, must be a big family! can imagine during festive seasons, must be very noisy with so many family members. Really nice that you can learn hakka dishes from your mum ..now we can also learn from you! your boy must be having lots of fun making the abacus beads!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lena,
      Oh, yes, my tar tar (grand pa) have 10 children (7boys and 2 girls).i think in olden days they love the more the merrier lol

      Yes, my youngest is having so much funny helping mum to get busier :p

      Delete
  9. Lovely dish! Have seen this at Lena's and now yours! This is an authentic recipe, passed down from your grandma, a treasure to be passed down to the next generation! Well done! I love eating abacus yam! Looks so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Joyce,
    Yes, I saw this in Lena's blog too.
    Authentic recipes are always lost when there is no one pass down to the next generation ..I wish I can learn all of the traditional recipe from my mum :)
    I thanks for compliments!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Doreen, I love this dish... so delicious. Makes me drool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mich,
      We only eat this only on festive occasion.
      Yes, it is really yum. :D

      Delete
  12. Finally I heard you also called grandpa as Tar Tar! I aslo Dapu ka, my family like cook thi dish too, we like it so much. Now a days not much Dabu know about this. It's delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris,
      Thanks for dropping by.
      I am so happy to meet a 'Dabu' in blogging.
      I miss my 'tar tar' heehee Agreeded with you that not much 'Dabu' know about this dish nowadays. Especially younger generations .

      Delete
  13. Hi Mui Mui, your Hakka abacus looks so nicely made. I've never made them before but I enjoy eating it from a "dai chow" restaurant in Cheras.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yen,
      This is not that hard to make actually.
      Do try it yourself .
      You will love your homemade version:)
      mui

      Delete
  14. Hi Mui Mui, I love your yam abacus very much. Look very delicious! Must try this recipe one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
  15. mui mui, I want some! I have eaten this dish before and I love it a lot. But so lazy to make the abacus seeds, I got no sous chef to help me hah! hah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phong Hong,
      No worries.
      I will ask my sous chef make some yam seeds , freeze it and send to you....:p
      My sous chef make one very 'sedap o'. heehee
      mui

      Delete
  16. Hi Doreen,

    I saw this too at Lena's blog recently and thought of cooking this to try too. It might sounded silly but the truth is that I have NOT tasted Hakka abacus seeds before!

    I like your sous chef... He is much more serious than mine - LOL!

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zoe,
      Not silly at all. Really not many Chinese tasted this traditionally dish before. But I can tell you it is very tasty:)

      My sous chef... Oh! Yes, he is very serious, he even told me he want to redo all my ready made yam seeds into his version ...LOL

      mui

      Delete
  17. 记得叫快递大叔把你也快递过来。

    你就当我的私人主厨好了。^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 你真的要我吗?
      我吃比做还要多哦:p
      mui

      Delete
  18. 用芋头做的我都喜欢吃,这道客家菜我没吃过呢,有机会一定要试看!
    小厨果然帮得上忙哦,mui就senang多了,呵呵!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Casey,

      有空一定要试哦,真的好好吃!

      小厨嘛,是越帮越噢!哈哈〜
      mui

      Delete
  19. Hi Doreen, thanks for sharing the background of the Hakka people and this dish, very interesting. The first time i tried this was a few years ago, but i think those were not very well made, and thus didnt taste very nice. I must find some good ones to try this year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Esther,
      I bet if you make your own, it will be very dlelish.
      Hope you will try it!
      mui

      Delete
  20. Hi Doreen, I have yet to try this hakka delicacies...sure looks delicious! Saw the ready made ones in the market but not sure how to cook them....may be will grab some to cook with your recipe in hand:D Gong Xi Fa Cai!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Doreen, Here wishing you Good health, good luck and much happiness throughout the lunar year. 恭祝健康、幸运,新年快乐!

    ReplyDelete
  22. hi Doreen, Happy CNY to u and family :)
    i love yam, i should try this :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. 新年快乐,幸福安康,四季平安。

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Mui Mui, wishing you and family a very happy new year. Gong Xi fa Cai.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for posting this recipe. I shall be cooking it up for some transplants here in Canada this evening!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for posting this recipe. I shall be cooking it up for some transplants here in Canada this evening!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Essa receita parece tão deliciosa!
    ♡ º

    ♫♫•*¨*•♫♫
    ღ°Brasil♫º
    ♡ º

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Doreen, Gong Xi Faa Chai to you & your family! This is a very appetizing dish & I love yam too. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Tried it at big big bowl hakka kitchen its very nice yam abacus seed ! This the address : no 3 jalan burung tiung taman bukit maluri kepong 52100 kl. They only have it on saturday n sunday ! N their lei cha its the best i ever had ! Call : Angie at 0122115564 for more info

    ReplyDelete

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