My grandma came to visit us last month...mostly to see her first Great Grandson. :) While she was here, I took the opportunity to ask her to teach me how to make the Hakka Abacus stir-fry. It's one of my favorite dish growing up. My grandma often made it for special occasions like Chinese New Year. I've made it a few times with my grandma but never paid much attention to the ingredients or the measurement, especially for the abacus.
It's actually quite similar to making Gnocchi but instead of potato, we use tapioca or yam.
Grandma cooking away...
1 lb of small tapioca (you can also use yam)
1/2 bag of 14oz tapioca flour
- Use a grater to grate the tapioca into shreds. This will help the tapioca to cook more evenly. Place the shredded tapioca into dish and place it in the steamer.
- Steam the tapioca for 15 minutes or until it's soft and done
- While the tapioca is nice and hot, transfer it into a mixing bowl.
- Slowly add tapioca flour and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon. If you are not afraid of the heat, use your hand. Keep adding the flour and fold into the tapioca well. This is the hard part but you know it's well mixed if the "dough" is no longer sticky to your touch. If it's still sticky, add more tapioca flour.
- Once the dough is well mixed, pull a small piece off (about the size of a quarter) and roll into a ball. Press your thumb lightly into the ball to create an indent in the middle. Set aside, and make the next ball.
- Heat a big pot of water. Once the water is boiling, add the abacus dough into the water. When the abacus floats to the top of the pot, it's done.
- Scoop up the cooked abacus and put them into a bowl of cold water. This will prevent the abacus from overcooking.
- This process can be done ahead of time, ie night before, and chill in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
1 cup of Dried black fungus (soak in water)
1/3 lb of ground pork
1 tbsp of dried shrimp (soak in water)
1/2 cup of dried mushroom (soak in water and sliced)
Shredded Napa Cabbage (OPTIONAL)
- Heat the wok with oil and add garlic
- Once the garlic is fragrant, add the ground pork.
- Stir until the pork is cooked. Then add dried fungus, mushroom, dried shrimp and napa cabbage
- Season with salt, pepper and fish sauce
- Add Abacus and cook until the abacus is nice and soft
Final product - Tah Dah...
Love love this dish. I'm going to try and attempt to make it again on my own. See if it'll turn out the same. :)