Yam Cake

Steamed Yam Cake (芋頭糕)

Yam Cake is made from steaming cubes of fried yam with rice flour and water. By itself, yam tends to be bland but when combined with the intense flavours of dried prawn & Chinese sausage, yam cake is a tasty dish. Best eaten with chilli and hoisin sauce.

Steamed Yam Cake brings back many happy memories. I remember the steamed yam cake I used to have for breakfast, many many years ago, at the hawker centre located at Collyer Quay, a stone’s throw from my office. Also, a colleague used to bring in her fried yam cake and I often wondered how she makes them – they were super delicious (ˆڡˆ) with lots of “waxed” meat – air dried pork. Those I had in Penang had a sprinkling of chilli shrimp on top. Ah, those were the days !

I was able to find some yam in the farmers’ market, so I decided to try making my own version of yam cake and see if I can recreate that taste I remembered. The pan-fried version is definitely better than the steamed version.



  • 250 gm yam (cut into small pieces)
  • 200 gm rice flour
  • 3 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 Chinese sausage (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 Chinese dried mushrooms (soaked and cut into small pieces) *see note below
  • 1 tablespoon dried prawn (soaked and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon dried scallop (soaked and cut into small pieces) – optional
  • 600 ml of water (use the water for soaking dried ingredients)
  • 1 tablespoon fried onion
  • Seasoning:
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
    • White pepper
  • Garnish with fried onion.
  • Serve with chilli sauce & hoisin or sweet sauce.


1. Fry sausage, mushroom, dried prawn and scallop in a pan till fragrant.

2. Add yam and seasoning and stir to combine.

3. Add some water, just enough to cover yam mixture and simmer the mixture till nearly dry.

4. Place rice flour & cornflour into a bowl and add remaining water and stir till smooth.

5. Pour flour mixture into the yam mixture and stir to combine.

6. Pour the combined mixture into a greased baking tin.

7. Steam for 30 minutes. Check with a bamboo skewer to make sure it is cooked. The bamboo skewer should come out clean.

8. Cool the tin before unmolding.

9. Serve sliced steamed cake, garnished with fried onion, with chilli and hoisin or sweet sauce. Alternatively, pan fry the slices in a little oil.

* Note: I will be leaving out mushroom the next time I cook this dish as the mushroom texture does not seem to go with the rest of the ingredients.  I will include “lap yoke” 腊肉 instead. I think that will add even more flavour to the yam cake.


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