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Malaysian Recipe : Hakka Abacus Beads


  • 600g taro (yam)
  • 200g tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil to toss abacus beads

For sautéing:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 pip garlic, chopped
  • 100g dried prawns, soaked and drained
  • 100g minced pork
  • 4 large dried black mushrooms, soaked and sliced thinly
  • 4 tbsp chicken stock or water


  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder


  • 2 tbsp chopped spring onion


  1. Skin the taro and cut into blocks.
  2. Steam the taro for about 10 minutes over high heat until soft, yet firm. Mash together with the salt.
  3. Add the tapioca flour in batches as you knead the dough. Continue kneading until the mixture does not stick to the hand.
  4. Pinch the dough to form marble-sized balls. Flatten each ball by pressing a thumb into the centre so that the dough resembles an abacus bead.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the abacus beads in batches to the water and cook until the beads float. Dish out and drain in a colander.
  6. Toss the abacus beads with 2 tbsp sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together.
  7. Heat the two oils in a wok to fry the garlic and dried prawns until fragrant.
  8. Add pork, mushroom and seasonings and fry until fragrant.
  9. Add in the abacus beads and chicken stock.
  10. Fry for a minute before dishing out. Serve with garnishing.

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Last Modified: 11/27/11.