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Do you have any particular food that you’ve been wanting to make, cook or bake but never realizes?

Yam cake or better known as ‘wu tao gou’, ‘yu tou gao’ is one of those foods that falls right into the category above for me. You know.. no sense of urgency to make it, because it is readily available everywhere… Until one fine day, when i tasted the homemade version given to me by the boy’s teacher.

That was when i went, ‘whoaaaaaaaa!’

Needless to say, i was blown away!

Homemade version tasted so darn good!!!

So good that i actually finished up the whole box while driving, picking the yam cake up pieces by pieces by hand(!) – something which i never do while driving because i do not like to dirty my steering wheel and my car. (me no like baby roaches “shopping around” when i’m driving halfway, WHICH, had happened before… not once, not twice but many times!)

Of course i managed to get hold of the recipe from the dear teacher, die die must get it ah! :P

Yam Cake

Makes 1 round metal container (diameter : 27cm)

300g rice flour – soak in 900ml water for 30 minutes before cooking
700g yam – shave off skin, dice into 1 cm cube and soak in a basin of water
50-100g lean meat – diced finely
1 no chinese sausage – skinned, steamed and diced finely (i skipped this)
6 nos dried mushrooms – soak in water until soft, wash thoroughly and dice finely
8 tbsp dried prawns – washed, soak in water till soft and pound roughly (i’d pounded 5 tbsp and cut up the other 3 tbsp)
5 tbsp sesame oil
salt & pepper to taste

10 nos shallots, fried
1 spring onion, cut finely
2 red chilies, cut finely

1. Using a wok, stir fry pounded dried prawns in sesame oil for 3 mins till fragrant
2. Add diced meat and mushrooms and fry for another 2 – 3 mins
3. Drain diced yam and add to the fried ingredients and fry
4. Fry well for 2-3 mins till yam changes colour
5. Stir rice water mixture till well blended and pour into wok
6. Combine all ingredients and stir vigorously to prevent clumping at the base
7. Add seasoning to taste
8. When mixture thickens, turn off fire
9. Transfer half cooked mixture to a container for steaming
10. Steam for 30-40 mins. Test for doneness when diced yam breaks easily
11. Sprinkle garnishing and ready to serve!

Tip : choose yam that is light weight to get the ‘melt in the mouth’ effect. leftover yam cake can be lightly fried or steam the following day

Note : i would halve this recipe the next time. way too much for my family of 6 :)

Note 2 : homemade version doesn’t have smooth, clean-looking surface like the ones outside. don’t be upset by its ugly appearance yeah even though i did, for a while .. thinking i had done something wrong! alas, i found out home made ones with tonsss of yam cubes are all like that! ;)


That evening, i gave boxes away to friends and family.

To my surprise, one of my friends i gave the yam cake to, made me some dried prawn chili sambal that day as well! The sambal went swimmingly well with the yam cake.

“Dried prawns + sambal + yam cake which also contains traces of dried prawns….”

Life cannot be better!! *grin*

On a serious note, because of this homemade yam cake version, i have sorta stopped eating the ones sold out side. They may look prettier yes, but taste wise… this one wins hands down!!!

18 Responses to “Yam cake aka ‘wu tao gou’”

  1. What do you mean by choosing light weight yam?

    You manage to convince me to even want to try this since i don’t even like yam cake to begin with..but you write it so well, i have to copy this recipe down in case i want to try it one of these days. Actually, to be honest, i don’t like a lot of local ‘breakfast’ food since young, dunno why..i only like my breakfast to be bread/cereal/pancakes/cakes..LOL! So boring right?

  2. I’ve never eaten this before. It looks like it has such a soft and silky texture

  3. oh yummms. Nothing better than home made versions!

  4. faithy : my guess is the big but light kind. very ‘song’ – not compact sort. don’t ask me how to choose though.. coz i have no idea. must ask the aunty to help! hehheeee.. if u like haebi, u’d love this!!! must try and let me know k? :)

    john : soft yes, silky no. u MUST eat it next time u go Malaysia ok?? or better, make this at home!! :))))

    crusta : aaaahhh.. yes, esp for this! outside ones really pale in comparison ;)

  5. What you mean those yam cakes sold outside look better? Yours looks much much better! And should be tasting very delicious too.

    Hey, I have so many foods that I’ve been wanting to eat but never realizes, let alone make and cook . Sorry, bake does not come in at all, for me! :O

  6. nyammmm… i loved this yam cake and i have not eaten it for ages! i am not sure if i can find yam here – now that is another hunting to do ;) delicious pictures as always, Sherie :) last week my desktop computer was caught darn Trojan virus so i dare not upload any pictures (Biryani) on my FB. this laptop is still breathing weak so will take it to Dr PC once i get my desktop (now in ICU!!) home hopefully next week. Thank you for sharing you recipe. xoxo

  7. Hey! Just stopping by to let you know we’re giving away a signed Sandra Lee cookbook with 1,001 recipes over at Chew on That! We’d love for you to enter! The giveaway ends on Halloween, so hurry over! :)

  8. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jing Wen and Calvin Timothy, Julia Khoo. Julia Khoo said: Homemade is definitely better! RT @maameemoomoo [New Post] i *heart* homemade Chinese Yam Cake!! [...]

  9. wah looks really beautiful and I love your garnishings too! hey, how you eat and drive at the same time, lol!

  10. Lovely looking woo tao gou! I love it!!

  11. Hi Sherie!

    It was great meeting you today at De Dietrich! How awesome to meet like-minded foodies at the unexpected moments! :) I love home-made yam cake. The factory made, mostly flour stuff sold outside just doesn’t cut it! Love the photographs of your children too :)
    I’ve sent you an email with my contact details so we can keep in touch!
    xoxo melissa

  12. tigerfish : hahahaha! aiyo.. same lah! too many to-eat on my list too! if only i have 4 stomachs and 48 hrs a day…

    ps :ur comment sure made my day! :)))

    nina : poor u.. always sending your PC to hospital.. hahahaa. time for an upgrade! *wink* can’t wait to see ur awesome pics! hopefully u can find yam on your side. happy hunting ;)

    noobcook : hahahaa… can! errrr.. the fact is, i always drive with one hand. i am very strange. i like to rest my left elbow on the arm rest and then sit on my hand. LOL!!! very bad – must change!

    mycookinghut : thank you, Leemei :)

    melissa : heyyyy… great meeting u too! yeah, now only i realize the real stuff tastes this good.. but well, it’s never too late! hehehe.. email replied!

  13. You yam cake looks delicious!!! I am looking for a good yam cake recipe and I think I have found one. Thanks for sharing. Your photographs are stunning!

  14. love your little model, very photogenic! Your home-made version is definitely more flavourful with lotsa liao! I must learn to made this!Thanks for sharing Cherie!

  15. Beautiful and appetising looking yam cake…!! I can imagine why your son couldn’t wait getting a bite ;)!

  16. NOM NOM NOM… this looks wonderful, I’d love to give it a try, is this adapted from a Chinese recipe? I think I’ve tasted something similar, but I’d love to try and make this some day.

  17. Look very pretty!!!!

    hey yoo, many recipes that I have been wanting to make. let me think ummm kue lapis legit, lapis surabaya, chiffon pandan and etc :))

  18. ellie : thank you for your compliments! :)

    jessie : bet after u make this, u won’t wanna eat the ones outside anymore!

    cookinggallery : hahhaaa! the baby is cartoon! he came, posed, and ran away!

    girl japan : yupyupyup, a chinese recipe indeed. a well-loved breakfast snack in Malaysia & Singapore! lemme know how yours turns out k?

    pepy : thank you! ahhh.. all those 3 u named, i’ve been wanting to make them too! haha!

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