Steamed yam cake is a favorite in many Asian countries with a large Chinese population such as Malaysia and Singapore. It is also popular in places such as Hong Kong and southern China. It is one of the items popular in ‘dim sum’ and is delicious as much as it is healthy.
Steamed yam cake is not difficult to make, all you need is a little time. It is extremely relaxing and gratifying to make this dish, and is the perfect food to make on cold, rainy days. The trick to achieving a soft, smooth cake is not to overcook the batter before steaming. When you feel a slight resistance during the stirring process, that is when you know the batter is ready. The batter continues to thicken even when you kill the heat so this is the only step you should be mindful.
If you would like to make a vegetarian version of this dish, simply remove the dried shrimps and chicken stock powder, and substitute with vegetable stock powder and more mushrooms.
1 small yam (approx. 250 g) – peeled and diced finely
4 dried mushrooms – soaked in 600 ml warm water for 1 hour
1 tbsp dried shrimp – soaked in warm water for 30 mins, chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced
½ tsp five spice powder
2 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp pepper
Pinch of salt
70 g rice flour
30 g tapioca starch
600 ml soaking water from mushroom
¼ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chicken powder
Dash of white pepper
Sliced Red Chilli
Toasted sesame seeds
serves 4 – 5
Cut off the white top of the yam and use a sharp knife to trim away the skin.
Slice and cut into small cubes.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
Mix the ingredients for the flour batter together (except mushroom water) in a bowl.
In a large wok or pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and add in yam. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper and cook for about 5 mins, until lightly browned. Remove and set aside in a large bowl.
Add 1 tbsp oil and sauté dried shrimp and garlic together until fragrant for 1 min.
Toss in chopped mushroom and seasonings. Cook for another 2 mins and add the ingredients to the yam. Mix well.
Allow the wok to cool for 5 mins before adding in the mushroom water and mixed flour batter. Stir well with a spatula.
Turn on heat and add in yam ingredients.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously.
When you feel a slight resistance when stirring, turn off the heat.
Continue to stir and it will thicken up further into a paste.
Lightly grease a 6-inch square or round pan and spread out the yam cake evenly.
Steam on a rack over boiling water for 45 to 50 mins, until firm.
The yam cake will be translucent during steaming and will turn opaque when cooled.
Allow to cool for 1 hour to firm up before cutting.
Garnish with chopped spring onions, fried onions, toasted sesame seeds and red cut chilli.
Serve with your favorite chilli sauce.