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Hakka Abacus Seeds 算盘子

  • Serves 6 - 8
  • Average

As the name suggests, each piece is shaped like the bead on the abacus, signifying prosperity and wealth.


How old were you when you started cooking? When I am 4 yrs old, I started helping out in the kitchen.

Personal wish related to cooking: I wish to continue cooking for my children and grandchildren as long as I can.

Siew Sien Hin 萧香英 , Home MasterChef


  • 500g yam (about ½ a yam), cut into ¼-inch thick slices

    300g tapioca flour

    200g minced pork

    100g dried mushroom, soaked & diced

    200g prawns, diced

    1 small dried cuttlefish (about 15cm body length), cut into thin strips

    40-50g black fungus, soaked & cut into thin strips

    6 cloves medium-size garlic, peeled & chopped

    3 tbs oil for cooking

    Spring onion & Chinese parsley, for garnishing

  • Seasoning :

    Light soya sauce, to taste


    2 tsp Maggi concentrated chicken stock

    1 tsp salt, or to taste

    ½ tsp sugar


    1. Add boiling water to cover yam in a pot. Cook for about 20 minutes or till yam is soft.
    2. Drain the water and add ¾ of the flour to the cooked yam while it is still hot. Mash and combine thoroughly till dough is formed.
    3. Transfer the dough to a chopping board. Knead until dough is smooth and of a nice soft consistency.
    4. Roll dough into long strip of about 1-inch thick and cut into ½-inch cubes. Roll the cubes into balls then flatten to a thick disc.
    5. Press the centre on both sides of the ‘disc’ with thumb & another finger to make a depression on both sides. This should already look like the abacus seeds of an abacus.
    6. Cook the abacus seeds in boiling water. Once the seeds float, they are cooked.
    7. Scoop all the seeds into a pot of tap water. This will prevent the seeds from sticking to each other. Set aside.
    8. Saute garlic in a heated wok.
    9. Add dried cuttlefish and fry for a short while.
    10. Add mushroom strips, minced pork and black fungus.
    11. Add the abacus seeds and mix well.
    12. Fry for about 5 minutes before adding water to cover ¾ of the abacus seeds.
    13. Add seasoning.
    14. Add prawns last as they cook fast.
    15. Add spring onion and parsley.
    16. Garnish with fresh spring onion and parsley.
    17. Ready to serve.