Monday, July 4, 2016

Orh Yee (Hokkien Heritage Yam Cake Recipe)

Those who follow my blog long enough would know that I grew up at my grandma's place as my mum passed away when I was five. My cooking passion stems from the way my grandma would cook for the family.

My grandparents came from the Fujian province in China. On special occasions like Chinese New Year or birthdays, grandma would cook us Hokkien dishes like Kong Bak Bao (Braised pork bun), Mee Sua (Wheat flour noodle) and Prawn Rolls. One very unique heritage dish that she used to cook for us was fried Orh Yee (Steamed Yam Cake). 

To avoid food wastage, grandma mixed leftover rice with shredded yam, sweet potato flour and water to form a thick sticky mixture and steamed over high heat. The steamed yam cake were then stored in the fridge for days and weeks. When needed, just slice the yam cake into thin slices and fry with any meat and vegetables available. So yummy and comforting.

Grandma is now 97 and needs the wheelchair to move around. She no longer cooks and is suffering from mild dementia. From time to time, I would think of this Orh Yee dish and that period of time at grandma's place. With much sentiment, I decided to revive and preserve this Grandma's recipe here at C&S. 


Orh Yee : (Makes 4 Orh Yee)
1 yam (about 900g)
800g sweet potato flour
500ml water
1 tsp salt
White pepper

Final preparation to serve: (Serves 4-6 persons)
2 Orh Yee
50g dried shrimps
25g dried mushrooms
4-5 leeks 
Half Chinese (Napa) cabbage
0.5 kg prawns (shelled and deveined)
300g roast pork (Cut into bite-size, about 1.5 by 1.5 cm)
2-3 cloves garlic (Peeled and chopped)
Cooking oil
Crispy fried shallot

Mixture A:
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp FIsh Sauce
1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine


Orh Yee:
Peel and shred yam into thin strips. Add salt.

Slowly by batches, add sweet potato flour and water into the shredded yam. Keep mixing and turning until it forms a thick mixture. 

Divide and shape the yam mixture into 4 ovals. Steam over high heat until cooked, about 15 minutes.

Let Orh Yee cool down. Orh Yee can be stored in plastic bags and kept in fridge for days.

Final preparation to serve:

Slice Orh Yee thinly and set aside.

Soak and soften dried shrimps. Squeeze off excess water and chop them finely (You can use a food processor to speed up the preparation time). Put aside. Keep the soaking liquid.

Soak and soften dried mushroom. Squeeze off excess water and cut into small pieces. Put aside. Keep the soaking liquid.

Clean and remove roots of leek. Slice leek at an angle. Separate the white stem and the green leaves.

Clean and cut cabbage into small pieces about 1.5cm thick.

Mixture all ingredients for Mixture A with the soaking liquid. Put aside.

Heat cooking oil in a big wok. Add chopped dried shrimps. Fry until foam starts to form, about 2-3 minutes. 

Add chopped garlic and white sections of leeks. Fry until just before turning brown.

Add prawns, roast pork and dried mushrooms. Continue to fry until prawns are half cooked.

Add the Orh Yee slices and the remaining leeks and cabbage. Mix and fry all ingredients. Add Mixture A.

Continue to fry until all ingredients are cooked and the flavour well mixed. Add water during the frying process if required.

Serve hot with fried shallot.


  1. Thanks for bringing back childhood memories. My mum is 88 years old and I remembered her making this. I have never seen this recipe posted anywhere nor it is sold in restaurants. The closest to this would be tapioca flour noodles, eh? Chim Choo, Klang has something like this.

    1. Hi Katherine. I'm glad that this post brought back fond memories for you!


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