Hakka Abacus Bead @ Suan Pan Zi

'Suan Pan Zi' is one of the Chinese Hakka traditional dish besides of 'Yong Duo Fu' ~ stuffed beancurd. And it is made mostly during the festive season or New Year because it believes to bring good wealth to the family. The dough is made of yam/taro and flour/starch, just like the western gnocchi. 'Suan Pan Zi' is also called as abacus bead because the look of the yam dough just like the counter of the Chinese abacus. I wonder why my parents-in-law never made this before! I brought this home on my last visit and my in-laws like it alot.

And here's the recipe.

Ingredients for Suan Pan Zi/Yam gnocchi :

300gm yam/taro, steamed & then mashed
150gm tapioca starch
1/2 tspn salt
50ml hot water

Method :

- combine mashed yam, salt and tapioca starch in a big mixing bowl.
- slowly stir in the hot water to form a soft dough.
- knead untill smooth and then take out a teaspoon of yam dough.
- roll it to form a ball and mould the center with a chopstick.
(so that it looks like a hole in the center, like abacus bead)
- steam for 20mins or untill cooked; or you may also boil them untill cooked.

Ingredients for Stir Fried :

1 cup black wood ear, soaked
1 cup mushroom, fresh or dried
1 stalk Chinese leek
1/2 cup lily bud, soaked & make knots
1 inch ginger, shredded
1 red chili
Seasoning :
2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tspn light soy sauce
* Thickening : 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 tspn corn starch

Method :

- put everything into slicing job (except lily buds) and making sure is nice & thin.
- preheat the wok/frying pan with enough cooking oil.
- stir in shredded ginger and saute untill fragrant.
- add in sliced black wood ear, yam gnocchi, mushroom, leek and lily buds; roughly stir fried for a few second.
- now, add in the seasoning and mix well then stir in the thickening.
- let simmer untill the sauce became thickened.
-off the heat and then stir in the shredded chili.
Note : you may also add in some ground meat but I prefer to have it green. So, enjoy!
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