Hakka Abacus Seeds

Serving 4 pax
Preparation Time 50 mins
Skill Intermediate

300g Yam, 2 cm cubes
120g Tapioca flour
1 tsp Salt, to taste
4 tbsp Boiling water

200g Fresh pork belly cubes, bite-sized
1 tbsp Corn flour
1 tsp Sesame oil
1 tsp Salt & white pepper

1 medium Red Onion, diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Dried shrimp, washed & chopped
2 tbsp Shao Xing wine
½ tsp Chicken stock powder
2 tbsp Dark soy sauce
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
Black pepper, to taste
100g Fresh black fungus, bite-sized
2 stalk Spring onion, cut into 3 cm strips
80g Bean sprouts

Spring onion
Crispy shallots

  1. Pork Belly: Combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside to marinate.
  2. Yam Dough: Steam yam for 25 to 30 mins until very soft and mashable. Working quickly while still hot, mash the yam into a paste (like mash potatoes) and then add the tapioca flour and salt, and mash it thoroughly to combine. Add the boiling water 1 tbsp at a time and knead it until the dough comes together. Add more water or flour if needed. The dough should not be sticky or have streaks of flour when it is ready.
  3. Cooking Abacus: Portion each abacus into 5g pieces and roll them into balls. Make the signature indent by pressing the center of the ball with your thumb or index finger. Heat a pot of water over medium heat until boiling and prepare a cold water bath to cool the cooked abacus.
  4. Cook the abacus in boiling water until they float to top, cool them in the cold water bath to prevent the further cooking as we will still stir fry them.
  5. Stir Fry: In a wok over medium heat, heat 3 tbsp of cooking oil and pan fry the marinated pork belly until brown and crisp on both sides. Set aside the pork belly.
  6. In the same pan fry onion, garlic & dried shrimp until onion turns translucent and fragrant, about 45 seconds. Deglaze the pan with Shao Xing wine. Add the drained abacus and pork belly back into the pan and stir fry with dark soy sauce, soy sauce, pepper and oyster sauce. Remove from heat. Finally, add in bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onion and toss to combine letting the residual heat wilt the vegetables.
  7. Garnish with additional spring onion, crispy shallot and chilli if desired.
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