Chinese Steamed Yam Cake Recipe: A Delicious and Healthy Snack – Seaco Online
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Chinese Steamed Yam Cake Recipe: A Delicious and Healthy Snack

Chinese steamed yam cake, also known as orh kueh or wu tau kueh, is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine. It is a savoury, steamed cake made from chopped yam (taro), rice flour, water, and various seasonings. The dish is particularly popular in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and China, and is often served as a snack or as part of a larger meal.

A steaming basket filled with freshly made Chinese steamed yam cake, emitting a tantalizing aroma in a cozy kitchen setting

The recipe for Chinese steamed yam cake is relatively simple, and it can be customized to suit individual tastes. The cake is typically made by steaming a mixture of grated yam, rice flour, and water, along with a variety of seasonings and toppings. Some popular additions to the cake include dried shrimp, dried mushrooms, and preserved turnip. The cake is then garnished with a variety of toppings, such as fried shallots, spring onions, and chilli sauce.

If you are a seafood lover, you can add seafood to the recipe to give it a unique twist. Some great seafood options to add to the cake include prawns, scallops, and crab meat. These ingredients can be added to the cake mixture before steaming, or they can be used as a topping. Overall, Chinese steamed yam cake is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and tastes.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese steamed yam cake is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine that is often served as a snack or as part of a larger meal.
  • The recipe for Chinese steamed yam cake is relatively simple and can be customized to suit individual tastes.
  • Seafood lovers can add seafood to the recipe to give it a unique twist, such as prawns, scallops, and crab meat.

Origins and Cultural Significance

A steaming bamboo basket filled with freshly made Chinese steamed yam cake, surrounded by traditional Chinese kitchen utensils and ingredients

Steamed Yam Cake, also known as Taro Cake or Kuih Keladi, is a traditional Chinese dish that has become a favourite in Singapore and Malaysia. This savoury cake is typically served as a dim sum dish in Chinese restaurants, and is also a popular street snack in Southeast Asia.

Dim Sum Tradition

Dim sum is a Cantonese style of cuisine that involves small, bite-sized portions of food that are usually served in bamboo baskets. Steamed Yam Cake is a popular dim sum dish that has been enjoyed by Chinese people for generations. It is believed that the dish originated in Guangdong province in Southern China, where it was traditionally made with taro, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage.

Singaporean and Malaysian Favourite

Steamed Yam Cake has become a beloved dish in Singapore and Malaysia, where it is often served in hawker centres and food courts. In these countries, the dish has been adapted to suit local tastes, with ingredients such as mushrooms and scallions being added to the recipe. The cake is typically served with a chilli sauce or sweet sauce, and is a popular breakfast or snack item.

If you want to add some seafood to your Steamed Yam Cake, you can try using dried shrimp or dried scallops. These ingredients will add a savoury depth of flavour to the dish, and are commonly used in traditional Chinese cooking. However, if you prefer a vegetarian version of the dish, you can simply omit the seafood and add more vegetables such as carrots and Chinese mushrooms.

Overall, Steamed Yam Cake is a delicious and comforting dish that is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you are a fan of dim sum or simply looking for a new dish to try, Steamed Yam Cake is a must-try for anyone who loves Chinese cuisine.

Essential Ingredients

A bamboo steamer filled with freshly steamed Chinese yam cake, adorned with slices of green onion and chili pepper, emitting a tantalizing aroma

To make a delicious Chinese steamed yam cake, you will need a few essential ingredients. Here are the key ingredients you should have on hand:

Yam Selection

The yam is the star of the show when it comes to making steamed yam cake. You should choose a fresh yam that is firm to the touch and has a smooth, unblemished skin. If possible, select a yam that is long and thin, as this will make it easier to grate. Once you have peeled and grated your yam, be sure to squeeze out any excess water before using it in your recipe.

Flour Choices

Rice flour is the most commonly used flour in steamed yam cake recipes. It is gluten-free and gives the cake a soft, chewy texture. You can also use wheat flour or cornstarch if you prefer a firmer texture.

Aromatics and Seasonings

To add flavour to your steamed yam cake, you will need some aromatics and seasonings. Shallots, garlic, and spring onions are commonly used to add a savoury flavour to the cake. Five-spice powder, white pepper, and salt are also used to season the cake. Dried shrimp and dried shiitake mushrooms can be added for an umami boost. If you want to add seafood to your yam cake, you can use prawns or scallops.

To summarise, the essential ingredients for making a Chinese steamed yam cake include fresh yam, rice flour, shallots, garlic, spring onions, dried shrimp, dried shiitake mushrooms, five-spice powder, white pepper, and salt. You can also add seafood to your recipe if you wish, such as prawns or scallops.

Preparing the Yam Cake

Yam cake ingredients being mixed in a bowl, steamer in the background

Steaming Process

Firstly, you need to prepare the steamer. Fill the steamer with water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the yam into small cubes and soak the dried shrimps and shiitake mushrooms in water for about 20 minutes until they become soft.

Creating the Batter

Next, you need to create the batter. Mix rice flour, wheat starch and cornflour in a bowl. Add water and stir until the batter becomes smooth. In a separate pan, sauté minced garlic and shallots until fragrant. Then, add the soaked shrimps and mushrooms, chopped preserved turnip and stir-fry until the ingredients are well combined. Add the cubed yam, salt and pepper, and continue to stir-fry until the yam is soft.

After that, add the stir-fried ingredients into the batter and mix well. Ensure that the batter is not too thick nor too watery.

Layering Flavours

Now, it's time to layer the flavours. In a steaming dish, pour a layer of batter and then add a layer of seafood such as chopped prawns or scallops. Then, add another layer of batter and continue to layer until all the batter and seafood are used up.

Finally, steam the yam cake for about 30-40 minutes until it is cooked. You can check if the yam cake is cooked by inserting a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the yam cake is ready.

Once the steamed yam cake is cooked, remove it from the steamer and let it cool down for a while. Then, cut it into small pieces and serve it with chilli sauce or sweet sauce.

By following these simple steps, you can create a fluffy and soft steamed yam cake, also known as kueh or orh kueh. Adding seafood such as prawns or scallops can enhance the flavour of the yam cake, giving it a unique taste.

Garnishing and Serving

Yam cake placed on a bamboo steamer, garnished with sliced scallions and chili, served on a ceramic plate with soy sauce

Once your Chinese steamed yam cake is ready, it's time to garnish and serve it. Here are some suggestions for toppings and accompaniments that will add a burst of flavour to your dish.

Toppings and Condiments

  • Fried shallots: These crispy and flavourful shallots are a popular topping for many Asian dishes, including Chinese steamed yam cake. You can either buy them pre-fried or fry them yourself at home.
  • Red chilli: If you like a bit of heat, add some thinly sliced red chilli to your yam cake. It will not only add colour but also a spicy kick.
  • Chilli sauce: Chilli sauce is a great condiment to serve with your yam cake. It will add some heat and tanginess to the dish.
  • White sesame seeds: Toasted white sesame seeds will add a nutty flavour and some crunch to your yam cake.
  • Green onion: Thinly sliced green onion will add a fresh and mild onion flavour to your dish.

Accompaniments

  • Soy sauce: Serve your yam cake with a side of soy sauce for dipping. It will add some saltiness and umami flavour to the dish.
  • Oyster sauce: Oyster sauce is another great condiment to serve with your yam cake. It has a rich and savoury flavour that complements the dish well.
  • Chilli sauce: If you like your food spicy, serve your yam cake with some chilli sauce on the side.
  • Seafood: For a seafood twist, you can add some chopped up shrimp or squid to your yam cake batter before steaming. This will add some protein and seafood flavour to the dish.

Storing and Reheating Tips

A hand placing a yam cake into a steamer, then removing and slicing it for reheating

Refrigeration and Freezing

If you have leftover steamed yam cake, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. To keep it fresh, wrap it tightly in cling film or place it in an airtight container.

If you want to store the yam cake for a longer period, you can freeze it. Slice the yam cake into portions and wrap each portion tightly in cling film. Then, place the portions in a freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for up to three months.

Reviving Leftovers

When reheating the steamed yam cake, it's important to do it properly so that it retains its texture and flavour.

To reheat the yam cake, you can either steam it or pan-fry it. If you choose to steam it, wrap the yam cake in cling film and steam it for about 10 minutes. If you prefer to pan-fry it, slice the yam cake into portions and pan-fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.

To add some extra flavour to your leftover yam cake, you can also try adding some seafood to the recipe. Dried shrimps are a common ingredient in yam cake recipes, but you can also try using fresh prawns or scallops. Simply chop them up and add them to the mixture before steaming.

Overall, storing and reheating your steamed yam cake is easy and straightforward. Just remember to wrap it tightly and reheat it properly to ensure that it stays fresh and delicious.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming bamboo basket filled with freshly steamed Chinese yam cake, surrounded by traditional ingredients and utensils

What are the essential ingredients for a traditional yam cake?

The essential ingredients for a traditional Chinese steamed yam cake recipe include fresh yam, rice flour, dried shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage. However, the recipe can be modified to suit your taste preferences.

Can you suggest an easy method to prepare steamed yam cake?

Yes, an easy method to prepare steamed yam cake is to first mix the rice flour with water until it forms a smooth batter. Then, cook the yam, mushrooms, and shrimp in a wok until fragrant. Mix the cooked ingredients with the batter and steam the mixture until it sets. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

What's the secret to making the best-tasting yam cake?

The secret to making the best-tasting yam cake is to use fresh yam, which will give the cake a soft and fluffy texture. Additionally, using dried shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimp will give the cake a rich umami flavour.

Is steamed yam cake considered a healthy option?

Steamed yam cake can be a healthy option as it is low in fat and calories. However, the addition of Chinese sausage and other ingredients may increase its calorie content. You can make a healthier version by using less oil and substituting Chinese sausage with seafood such as prawns or scallops.

Why does my yam cake end up too soft, and how can I fix it?

If your yam cake ends up too soft, it may be due to too much water in the batter or overcooking. To fix this, reduce the amount of water in the batter and steam for a shorter period of time.

How should I store yam cake, and how long will it stay fresh?

Yam cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, steam for a few minutes until heated through. It is not recommended to freeze yam cake as it may affect its texture and taste.