Wednesday, August 15, 2012
When Babe KL invited me to be part of her virtual 55th Merdeka Open House themed Uniquely Malaysia, I thought yam cake fits the bill. After all, I haven't seen yam cake sold in any other country except perhaps in Singapore?
I first learned to make it in 2009 after my Mom revealed her yearning for this humble but tasty treat. You can buy yam cake from certain stalls in the local pasar (market) and a handful of restaurants but we found that most of them barely have any yam in it. Don't know about you but I prefer my yam cake with just the right consistency studded with visible yam dices. I also hate it when the topping is bare frills at best with a stingy sprinkling of chopped spring onion, chilli and fried shallot.
So I resorted to make yam cake at home and it turned out to be easier than I thought! For those of you who want to try your hand at making it - here's the recipe which I have adapted slightly from Rohani Jelani's recipe book called Hawker's Favourites.
Last year I made pans of yam cake for sale, to raise funds for a friend's Climb of Hope where all proceeds went to National Cancer Society. Hmmm...perhaps it's time I make some in celebration of our 55 years of Merdeka.
For what's being served for Babe KL's Merdeka Open House, check out:
2 tbsp dried prawns
2 tsp salt
2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
200g rice flour
5 tbsp tapioca flour
800 ml water
1/2 tsp alkali water
5 tbsp fried shallot
1 tbsp fried dried prawn
3 stalks spring onion (chopped)
2 red chilli (sliced)
1 tbsp choy poh (sweet preserved vegetable)
Sweet & Savoury Bean Sauce
2 tbsp taucheo (salted soya bean paste)
2 tbsp sugar
100 ml water
1/2 tbsp oil
Peel skin from yam and cut into dices. Steam yam dices over boiling heat for 20-30 minutes until soft. Once ready, remove and set aside.
Slice shallot and saute with dried prawns until shallot turns slightly brown. Add in yam dices and stir-fry quickly. Add salt, five-spice and pepper powder. Stir evenly and remove from heat.
Mix rice flour, tapioca flour and water in a pot until mixture is lump-free. Add in alkali water and stir evenly. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring frequently until batter thickens into custard-like consistency.
Add in yam dices into the batter and mix everything thoroughly. Pour into a metal cake pan and even out the surface. Steam yam cake over high heat for 30 minutes until cooked.
Once ready, turn off heat and remove yam cake from steamer to cool. Sprinkle garnishing ingredients on top of yam cake once it has cooled down completely. Cut into diamond-shaped squares to serve.
To make sauce, mix taucheo with sugar and water. Heat a little oil in pan and pour in mixture. Bring to boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved and remove from heat. Serve with yam cake.