Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Memory Recall

The very first time I heard about Hakka Abacus was from my mother. We were dinning out and she stumbled onto this stall in Macpherson. She told me that this dish is not easily available.

Many years later, my dear friend, LL brought home a box of her mom's Hakka Abacus. Her version is different. I can't really recall what was inside but all I can vaguely remember is that it is delicious!

Period like All Saints Day and Ching Ming (for the Chinese to remember the dead), my heart will ache when I think about L. I doubt she ever understand the pain that she left behind. Whatever it is, I really hope she is happy where she is now.

Now, back to my kitchen experiments with Hakka Abacus. I had very often wanted to make this dish on my own but I heard the process was tedious and thus shelved the plan until I got a really beautiful yam from the wet market.

Coincidentally, a mother from my parenting course also mentioned that she had success making this. I waited for her to forward the recipe but I guess she was just too tied up with work. As it is urging me on, I found a recipe in the library. So here I am, working my dough and getting my little girl to leave behind her thumbprint.

I modified it as my friend told me that more yam yield a better texture. We had great fun making this and nothing beats homemade as it is loaded with enough fillings.

I am going to save a portion for hubby to try it out tomorrow. Let’s hope he likes it as well and also passing a portion to V for assessment as she love this dish.

Verdict: V said I passed with flying colours!



What you need:

490g steamed yam, mashed
150g tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup of hot water
2 tbsp oil


Mix all ingredients together and knead till the dough is smooth. Make sure the flour is well incorporated.

Divide into 5g each and roll into a ball. Press your thumprint for the imprint. I got my daughter to do it as her thumb is just nice for this size.

Boil a pot of water, add a dash of oil.

Add the abacus piece by piece to prevent it from sticking together.

Once it float, it is cook. Drain and put into a bowl and add 1 tbsp of oil to prevent it from sticking.

What you need:

3 clove garlic, minced
3 shallot, sliced
4 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked
250g minced meat
3 mushroom, soaked and sliced thinnly
6 black fungus, soaked and sliced thinnly


1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
1 cup water


Heat some oil and saute shallot and then garlic till fragrant.

Add in dried shrimps and continue to fry till fragrant.

Add in minced pork, mushroom, black fungus and fry till everything is thoroughly mixed.

Pour in the seasoning and bring to boil.

Add in the abacus and stir fry till the liquid dried up.

Season to taste with salt.

Garnish and serve hot.

spring onion, red chillies and fried shallot
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  1. I love this Hakka Abacus, there is a good one at the food court of Ion Orchard! do you mind to post the recipe of this dish, hope to try it out also. thanks!

  2. Hi, I love this dish too.Your's looks delicious..

  3. Ah Tze, my friend said there is a stall in Bugis that is really authentic.

    Recipe posted and I hope you enjoy it.

    Thanks yummylittle cooks and nice of you to drop by.

  4. I never heard of such a thing, but from the looks of your photo and the ingredients, I would probably love it. thanks for sharing!!

  5. this looks soooooooooo good!!! unfortunately, it'll be hard for me to find a nice yam here :( the ones here are super tiny and very very very hard.

  6. OMG...this brings back sweet memories for me. It has been more than 30 years ago since I last ate this dish. My mom used to make this for us kids, unfortunately only mom & I like it, the rest of d family stayed away.

  7. This is one of my fav too especially homemade!

  8. Hi Edith!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I'd tried making it once from a failed attempt to make teochew orh nee. will definitely try it again with yours!

    I think the stall at ION foodcourt comes from a hawker stall at Shunfu Road operated by three Kek (Hakka) "ah muis". very authentic indeed.

  9. OMG...this brings back sweet memories for me. It has been more than 30 years ago since I last ate this dish. My mom used to make this for us kids, unfortunately only mom & I like it, the rest of d family stayed away.

  10. Edith, is me again, I've try out this recipe, is really yummy! Thanks :)


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