July 25, 2015

Pumpkin Mock Abacus Beads ~南瓜算盘子

Hi everyone, it is such a wonderful start for me after a short holiday. I hope you had a wonderful day too. 
I ask ‘A' a good friend for a favor.
After the favor is done, I said 'Thanks dear!' (to be thankful and polite of course :D)
She post a request in return. Guess what she request?
She said' Just cook that yummy abacus beads of yours for me, ya!' 
I remember the last time I cook Yam Abacus Beads for her was quite sometimes ago. I have cook with Yam here and with Potato here and now i am going to cook it with pumpkin. Interesting right?? 

Yam Abacus beads is a mixed of yam paste with tapioca flour. It is mixed into a dough, then cut into small piece and round them into abacus shaped bite-sized. It is then boiled in water to cook. When it is cooked it is soft and chewy then it is stir-fry with chinese mushroom, black fungus, cuttlefish, dried prawn and mince meat. This dish is very addictive, it is very flavorful too.  
Today i simply change the yam paste to pumpkin paste then this is Pumpkin Abacus Beads. i also add a little rice flour to the dough because i doesn't want it to be too chewy, .
The Yam Abacus Beads dish is an auspicious Hakka dish. We normally will cook this in Chinese New Year. My mum learn from her mil (my grandma) and i learn from my mum. They cook this with a 'agak-agak' (in malay mean estimation) measurement for all the ingredients. My grandma is great cook and she also makes really delicious nyonya kueh (bite-sized snack or dessert). In our area where we live, if you ask around "who make the best kueh lapis?" Everyone will tell you, 'Panjang's kueh lapis is the best' Everyone here will call her 'Panjang' (in malay means long) Wanna know why, they call her 'Panjang'? My grandma is very tall that is why they call her 'Panjang'. I ever asked her 'Nei nei, (for thai poo hakka we call grandma as nei nei) why your friends all call your 'panjang' and not 'tinggi'? (in malay mean tall)
Guess what my 'nei nei' answer me....she said 'Because their Malay language also not good' ...LOL
Peel and sliced up the pumpkin
After steam for 25 minutes, mashed it

From top left to right: 
Peel and sliced the pumpkin
Steamed and mashed it
Mixed the mashed pumpkin with tapioca flour and rice flour
Boiled the pumpkin abacus beads in hot water
Wait till it float
Scoop it with a strainer and add a little oil to prevent them from sticking

These are all the ingredients 
The cooked pumpkin abacus beads, mince meat, shredded black fungus, shredded chinese mushroom, shredded cuttlefish and spring onion. Mine is simple and it is good enough :p

Pumpkin Mock Abacus Beads -南瓜算盘子
Recipe adapted from Sumptuous Flavours with some modification
Ingredients for the pumpkin abacus:
300g pumpkin
250g tapioca flour
50g rice flour

Ingredients for the stir-fry:
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced shallot (i omit)
1 tbsp dried shrimps (soaked, drained and diced) (i don't have stock so i omit)
100g minced pork (chicken or pork will do)
 2 mushrooms (soaked, drained and shredded)
10g black fungus (soaked and shredded)
25g dried cuttlefish shreds (soaked)

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tbsp of fish sauce (i added)

To Do:
1.Peel pumpkin, cut into pieces and steam till it is cooked and soft. About 25 minutes. Drain off excess water. While the pumpkin is still hot add in tapioca flour and rice four. Knead into a pliable dough.  

2.Pinch a small portion about 5 gram or roll it long and cut into cubes. Shape into rounds then use a finger to make a dented impression into the center. (it will look like a abacus beads)

3. Boiled a pot of water, add the pumpkin seeds into the hot water. When they float to the surface, it means they are cooked. Remove them with a strainer or a slotted spoon and transfer them to a pot of cold water. Drain away the water add a tablespoon of oil, mix well. Set aside. 

4. Heat a wok with 2 tablespoon cooking oil. Saute chopped garlic, add in cuttlefish stir fry till it wiggle and fragrant, add in mince pork, stir fry till there is no more pink. Then add in shredded mushroom and black fungus. Stir fry to mix everything together. 

5. Add in the seasoning ingredients and the par-boiled pumpkin seeds. Lastly add in the diced spring onion. Dish up and serve hot!!
I cook half of the recipe which can serve 2-3 person
* My 'nei nei' told me that dried cuttlefish and dried prawn have fishy smell. To make them flavourful and smell fragrant, it have to be saute. By doing this it will bring out the flavor of it.
* Adding fish sauce to this dish also give more umami (pleasant savory taste) to this dish.

I am submitting this to Best Recipes For Everyone #11, July 2015 event, "I have a Date with Pumpkin", organised by Fion of XuanHom's Mom Kitchen Dairy and co-hosted by Rachel of The Simple Life.


  1. Hi Mui Mui, This looks fantastic! Yummy! I feel I want to make it again. :)

  2. 一直都很想做算盘子,可是拖了一天又一天,

  3. 嗨! 我来派奖的, 收好你的奖杯, 嘻嘻。。。, 派完奖, 然后在坐下吃算盘子!
    这个我要做很久了, 就是每次心动, 但是就是不动, 哈哈哈。。。

  4. 昨天,去餐馆吃了芋头算盘子还不过瘾,今天,来你家吃南瓜口味的

  5. OMG! So tasty! This dish is amazing!

  6. 你的算盘子好美哦,我上次做的没人看得出是算盘子来的,haha

  7. Hi Mui Mui,
    You are so creative to use pumpkin for this yummy-licious 算盘子 :D

  8. 哦。。。 这个我很有兴趣呢。
    啊Mui Mui,你是不是 hak kak yin? 哈哈哈 。。

  9. I loves this, but a lot of work to do, me very lazy...

  10. 哟~金登登的,好看又好吃!


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