Saturday, 21 February 2015

My mother's famous steamed yam cake

Finally I made the effort to learn how to make it. So two days before CNY in 2015, I took half day leave and requested my mother to show me how. It doesn't look good in the photo, I didn't do it justice. But with fried onion and shrimps, it is soooo damn gooood. 
In this photo you see little craters, that's because Lucas ate all the sausages that were on top of it!

Makes 1 rectangular aluminium tin foil roughly 30 x 15 cm (the type commonly sold in ntuc). Super huge! 

These are my agar-ations because my mother is never specific when it comes to cooking. 

- Yam, diced, roughly 1kg +/- 200g (1 whole or 3/4 of a big one)
- Mushroom, soaked till soft then diced, 1 rice bowl
- Dried shrimps, 1 rice bowl
- Rice flour, 600g (1 packet)
- Potato starch, 6 soup spoons?
- Garlic, diced, half a rice bowl
- Onion, diced, half a rice bowl
- Salt, 1 soup spoon (yes!)
- Sugar, 1 soup spoon
- MSG, 1 tablespoon (yes!)
- Roughly 3 soup spoons of oil

For garnish and to go with yam cake:
- 1 sausage
- Fried onion and oil
- Fried shrimps

1) Heat a very big wok with medium fire, put oil in, fry the following in order (add in one on top of the other, not fry each separately), each one for roughly 30 sec. 
  a) Garlic
  b) Onion
  c) Mushroom
  d) Dried shrimps
  e) Yam

2) Add enough water to cover the ingredients. 

3) Add half a soup spoon of salt, half a soup spoon of sugar and half a tablespoon of MSG. Stir fry some more to mix it. 

4) Cover the wok with the lid and let it simmer on low-med heat. 

5) Using another large bowl, add rice flour, potato starch and half a tablespoon of MSG into it. 

6) Add 7 rice bowls of water. 

7) Mix flour mixture with hand till there are no lumps. Remove sediments if any. 

8) Uncover the wok lid. It should look like this now. Yam should be soft - I.e. can cut with wok ladle. 

9) Add the flour mixture to the wok and mix. 

10) Time to bring out your muscles and mix till you get this. 

11) Switch off the fire. Oil the tin foil and scoop the mixture in. At the top or anywhere in between if it feels too sticky or too difficult to smooth out, add oil. You can be generous with it, cos my mum says 芋头糕没油不好吃的。

12) Garnish with sausages if desired and steam for about 1 hour. 

13) After 1 hour insert a chopstick in. It will be soft but don't worry, it will harden when it cools down. As long as it's not sticky as if it's uncooked it will be fine. 

You can eat it with fried onion, shrimps and sambal shrimp chilli, or you can fry it neat, with egg or with black soya sauce (like frying carrot cake), whatever fancies you. 

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