Hakka Yam Abacus

Serving 3
Preparation Time 40 mins
Skill Intermediate

250g Taro
125g Tapioca Starch
Pinch of salt
Water to cook the taro

4 oz Firm Tofu (mashed)
¼ cup Shallots (chopped)
1 tsp Garlic (chopped)
¼ cup Mushrooms (sliced)
¼ cup Wood Ear Mushrooms (sliced)
1 tbsp Vegan Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp Gluten-free Soy Sauce (to taste)
3 stalks Green Onion (white and green parts separated)
A handful of chopped cilantro
½ cup Water or Veggie Stock
White Pepper


How to prepare the Taro Abacus Seeds

  • Remove the outer layer skin of the taro until you see the white flesh with purple specks.
  • Cut into smaller cubes and place them in a small pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the taro, bring it to a rolling boil, then cook the taro until it’s tender.
  • Transfer cooked taro cubes into a bowl (if it has too much moisture, drain out some of the water).
  • Mash taro with a potato masher until it turns into a fine paste. Season with white pepper and a pinch of salt.
  • Gradually add in the tapioca flour and mix it well with a spatula. Once it’s cool enough to handle, knead the mixture into a soft dough.
  • To make the taro abacus seeds, pinch about a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball.
  • Then, using your thumb and index finger, pinch the middle of the ball to make a dent. Continue until you are done with all the dough. Cover the taro pasta to prevent them from drying out.

How to cook and serve

  • To cook the taro abacus, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
  • Add in the taro pasta and cook until they float to the top. Using a sieve, strain and transfer to a bowl of cold water.
  • Then, drain and place taro pasta on a cleaned plate and rub them with a drizzle of oil. Set aside or store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Heat a non-stick pan with oil and sauté shallots until they turn translucent. Then, add in the mushrooms and cook until fragrant.
  • Push the ingredients to the side of the pan and add in the tofu (add more oil if needed) and sauté tofu until golden brown.
  • Add the wood ear mushrooms, garlic, white part of green onions, seasoning and water. Bring the mixture to boil and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the taro abacus seeds and toss to mix all ingredients together. Taste test and season accordingly. You can add a drizzle of dark soy sauce for colour if preferred.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions. Serve warm.

Pair the dish with:

WANG-derful Highball recipe


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