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  • Writer's pictureEmily Yeo

Hakka Abacus

Yam abacus seeds (算盘子) or yam gnocchi is like the Chinese version of gnocchi. For those who are new to this traditional dish, abacus seeds is one of the Hakka classics in Chinese cuisine, made up primarily of purple yam/taro and tapioca flour. When cooked, these yam abacus seeds are soft on the outside, chewy on the inside and full of strong yam aroma.



An auspicious Hakka dish that signifies prosperity and yields to overflowing blessings — eating abacus seeds during festive celebrations and gatherings (especially Chinese New Year) will help to bring an abundance of wealth into your life.



This is an heirloom recipe from my family, dating back generations to my grandmother’s village in China. It’s a difficult dish to find outside, so although it takes some effort and time to make, it’s so worth it.



Her ratio is simple 2 portion of yam always go with 1 portion of tapioca flour. If you want your abacus seeds to be more QQ, you can probably increase the tapioca flour by a bit. But bear in mind not to add too much because you may not be able to taste the yam anymore. Likewise, if you want more yam flavour, decrease the amount of tapioca flour.



And of course the trick to make the abacus seeds is: DO IT WHILE IT’S HOT. Kneading the abacus dough while it’s hot was really challenging for me then. But now, I think my hands are somehow immune of heat already so I do it pretty fast. Don’t try to do shortcut by putting it into a blender please, this dish must be made by hand.




IF YOU EVER GIVE THIS RECIPE A TRY, DO LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND/OR TAG @FRUITYEMZ AND HASHTAG #FRUITYEMZ ON YOUR INSTAGRAM POST! I WOULD LOVE TO SEE ALL YOUR YUMMY CREATIONS 🙂

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