Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review and recipe: Hakka abacus seeds 算盘子 quick fix!

We found this gem located at the basement of smith street chinatown wet market, a stall which has a banner stating "staircase stall since 1978". This stall has an amazing display of frozen goodness. We bought a few to try and the most outstanding one got to be the handmade cooked and frozen abacus seeds at SGD$7 for a large box!

All you need to do is to prepared the side ingredients and seasoning to stir fry together and you will get a satisfying meal! It was so convenient and good! The aroma of the yam was strong and it was chewy and tasty!

However, it is definitely more meaningful and economical to make it ourselves so I have also included the made from scratch abacus seeds recipe which is really easy!

Here's how I prepared the dish:

Abacus seeds:
Either store bought from chinatown wet market or
Made from scratch:
1 medium sized yam (about 500g)peeled and sliced
100g of tapioca flour sieved
A pinch of salt

1. Steam the yam until totally soft.
2. Mash the yam in a big bowl.
3. Add a pinch of salt.
4. Sieve in half of the flour and knead while yam is still hot.
5. Continue to sieve in the flour slowly and knead until you can shape the abacus seed and it doesn't stick to your fingers.
6. Coat lightly with excess flour to prevent the seeds from sticking before use.
7. In a pot of boiling water add just a teaspoon of oil and add the abacus seeds. Once floating, they are ready to be used. Do not over cook as you need to store fry the side ingredients together later on.
*you can also choose to wait for them to cool and pack them in an air tight container and leave them in the fridge for the next day use.

The picture of the fresh abacus seeds on a plate is made by my parents!

Group A:
500g Minced meat
1 1/2tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
3 teaspoons of corn starch
A dash of pepper
Group B:
1 box of ready hakka abacus seeds
4 Dried chinese Mushrooms soaked in hot water (keep the water)
1 dash of sugar
2 tablespoon minced and pan fried dried shrimps (you can make a batch before Hand and keep in the refrigerator. It's useful for Chinese cooking!)
1/2 tablespoon shallot sauce (refer to pic below, the best! Aromatic! Avail in Sheng Shiong supermarket )
1/2 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (refer to pic below, my mum's favorite brand, taste is thick and nice. Avail in major supermarket)
1/2 bowl chicken stock

1. Combine group A and marinate for at least 30minutes.
2. Remove mushroom from water and press away excess water.
3. Dice mushrooms
4. Heat wok in medium heat. add oil. Wait for 30 seconds and add shallots.
5. Stir fry till partial golden, add mushrooms.
6. Add sugar.
7. Stir fry till golden brown, add minced meat.
8. Use the ladle to break the meat into pieces to prevent them from sticking together.
9. Flip the meat to ensure both sides are well cooked.
10. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the abacus seeds, and sauté for a couple of minutes.
11. Add the abacus seeds and sauté until the abacus seeds are cooked through.
12. Now it's ready! Garnish with red chili and lettuce or spring onions if desired!

Inspiring yummy mummies

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