This noodle dish is a Hakka cuisine. We love eating this small cute little noodles. But surprisingly this noodle is not easily available from Chinese restaurants or hawker centres. So in order to enjoy this noodle, I made this a couple of months ago and am sharing it today with Little Thumbs Up January 2015 : Pasta/Noodles.
These little rounded noodles are made up of mashed steamed yam and tapioca flour, which is mixed with a little boiling water, to form a dough. The dough is then made into small round balls (about the size of a small cherry tomato), with one side pressed in the centre to make an indentation (resembling the abacus). The balls of noodles are then dropped into hot boiling water, drained and stir-fried as a noodle meal.
A plate of Hakka Yam Abacus Beads Noodles
To make the yam abacus, firstly yam is steamed and mashed, then mix with some tapioca flour, and a little hot boiling water to make a dough. Pinches of dough is formed into small round balls, with an indentation on one side (use the back of a round chopstick), to resemble an abacus. They are then dropped into a pot of boiling water to cook, and when they start to float up, they are cooked. Remove and drain, they are now ready to be stir-fried.
The abacus beads noodles are soft on the outside with chewy centre, and is usually stir-fried with meat, mushrooms, soy sauce, oyster sauce and garnished with lots of crispy fried shallots and chopped spring onions. Serve hot, though they are great when eaten at room temperature too. A small plate is really quite filling! I love eating it with a condiment of sliced hot bird's eye chillies with a dash of light soy sauce.
Hakka Yam Abacus Beads Noodles
(adapted from "Delightful Snacks & Dim Sum", Agnes Chang)
600gm yam, cut into chunks, steamed until soft and mashed finely
300gm tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
some boiling water to mix, if necessary (I used about 3-4 tbsps)
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic and shallots
3 tbsp dried prawns, soaked
2 tbsp dried squid shreds, soaked (omitted)
200gm minced meat
3 dried Shiitake mushrooms, soaked till soften, and cut to thin slices
3 tbsp black fungus, soaked, shredded (ommited)
1 tbsp fish sauce (I replaced with oyster sauce)
1 tbsp chicken stock granules (I use 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
salt to taste (I use light soy sauce)
1/4 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 cup water
1 egg, fried into thin omelette, shredded (omitted)
some chopped spring onion, red chillies and fried shallots
- Combine mashed yam and tapioca flour, mix into a pliable dough, adding some boiling water if necessary. Divide into small portions and form into the shape of abacus. (pinch some rolls of dough, the size of a small cherry tomato, roll in between your palms into a round and make an indent in the centre with your fingertip). Cook in rapidly boiling water until they float to the surface. Remove and place the abacus rounds into a pot filled with cool water. Repeat until all the abacus rounds are cooked. Drain and place in a large bowl. Mix with 2 tbsp oil. Keep aside.
- Heat up 4 tbsp oil, saute chopped garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add in dried prawns, dried squid shreds and stir-fry until aromatic. Add minced meat, mushroom shreds, black fungus shreds and stir-fry until fragrant. Add in seasoning and bring to the boil. Stir in yam abacus and stir-fry until dry. Taste and dish up.
- Garnish with shredded omelette, spring onion, red chillies, fried shallots and serve hot.
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