Chinese shredded yam cake 芋絲餅

This was the first of my attempts at learning how to make Asian snacks as a way of rotating foods and reducing consumption of wheat flour, as Canton Pixie suggested in the comments here.

Shredded yam cake

This recipe from a Dim Sum cookbook was attractive because I already had the ingredients at home and the instructions seemed very straightforward. In the book it’s called Fried Shredded Yam, or Wu Xi Paeng 芋絲餅 in Cantonese. The original recipe calls for

shredded yam – 800g
minced pork – 150g
cornflour – 75g
salt – 55g
sugar – 55g [can omit]
five spice powder – a pinch
sesame oil – a dash
water
cooking oil

I decided to leave out the pork to make it less of a heavy, savoury dish. And that was the start of my cooking disaster!! I forgot that I would need to reduce the amount of cornflour to accommodate the omission of 150g of minced pork. The result was a rather hard and unpalatable cake.

I also halved the amount of sugar (which I plan to completely omit next time, I didn’t feel it contributed to the taste) and put in about a fifth of the amount of salt, which was just nice.

The preparation method involves mixing the main ingredients together, and adding just enough water to bind the mixture together. Spread thinly in a baking tin and steam over boiling water for 25 minutes.

My steaming also didn’t go so well and took ages. I think it was because I used a pot into which the round cake tin I used fit just exactly, so there wasn’t much room for the steam to circulate around and above the yam cake.

In the final step, the recipe says to let the steamed cake cool down, cut into pieces, then pan-fry until ‘crisp and fragrant’. You can see the result in the photo above – it tasted dry and hard on the outside, rather than crisp, possibly because I didn’t use enough oil. For subsequent pieces, I decided not to fry the yam cake at all (which also means less oil).

Verdict: try again!! *sigh*

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3 Responses

  1. im back MMMM!!
    hey, i really have to ask u this cuz i can’t find it on the internet!! i ate this really lovely “curry beef ramen” dish in a Hong Kong teahouse (one of those tiny “cha can teng” places) – do you have a recipe to make those curry sauces? i have searched and searched to no avail!!

  2. Hi CP,

    Sorry, curry is not on my list right now cos spices are very high in salicylates :P. I think I saw a ‘cha chan teng’ style recipe book in Chinese recipe book section in Kino, but I’m not sure. Also, Madhur Jaffrey has a book on curries of the world called The Curry Bible, maybe there’s something in there. Good luck finding a recipe!

  3. hi MMMM,
    ok thanks! good enuff for me, I’ll go kino and check it out! :)

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