Wednesday, October 9, 2013

easy taro rice 芋头饭

The LAM is not fond of yam. He describes it as "that vegetable that tastes like wall plaster".

I, on the other hand, love yam. I think it has something to do with childhood memories?

To this day, my mom would only cook yam rice if she is able to get hold of a "good" yam. By this she means it has to be "loose" and "soft" (松软) when cooked.

How to spot a good piece of yam? Frankly speaking, neither my mom nor I have any idea. We go to the wet market, and ask the friendly vegetable seller to pick a "good" piece of yam for us. And we always get "good" yams. It is a pity I cannot say the same of the yams from the supermarkets.

Don't get me wrong - I am sure there are some to be found in supermarkets but I really have no idea how to tell the difference between a "good" and a "bad" yam.

To start cooking yam rice, I soaked the dried mushrooms and dried shrimps in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften them.

Once they were softened, I drained the water, and sliced the mushrooms after removing the stems. These were set aside.

I also marinated the pork belly with oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper and a little corn flour. The pork was also set aside.

While I dealt with the star of the dish - the yam.

I simply removed both ends, peeled the skin off and diced the yam.

Once I had washed and drained the yam, I heated my wok, and added some vegetable oil.

I sauteed the minced garlic for about 30 seconds, then added the dried shrimp.

This was fried until the shrimps became fragrant, about a minute or so, then in went the mushrooms.

I stir-fried this for another minute or so, then I added the pork belly.

Once the pork had turned white, the yam was added,  I also added the rice and a little more light soy, dark soy and pepper.

Once everything was mixed, I transferred the rice into the rice cooker, added water and cooked.

I garnished my rice with chopped spring onion, and served it with chilli padi and a little light soy sauce.

Yam rice, anyone?

Easy Yam Rice (Serves 4)
Very loosely adapted from "Old Hokkien Delights" by Tan Yong Hua

600g uncooked rice, rinsed
300g yam, peeled and cubed
30g dried shrimps
200g pork belly, cut into small pieces and marinate
50g dried mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
650g water

Marinade for pork:
2 teaspoon light soy
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon grounded white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon corn flour

1 teaspoon light soy
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon grounded white pepper

2 sprigs spring onion, chopped
2 chilli padi, sliced
light soy sauce (optional)

1. Heat wok, Stir-fry minced garlic for 30 seconds. Add dried shrimps and fry until fragrant. Add mushrooms, Stir-fry for another minute or so.
2. Add pork and cook until pork has turned white.
3. Add yam and rice, as well as the seasoning.
4. Mix well, and transfer rice to rice cooker. Add water and cook.
5. Garnish with chopped spring onion, and serve with chilli and light soy sauce, if desired.

This is my contribution to the 'What's Cooking' blog train hosted by Alicia from Beanie N'Us. To see more recipes by other moms-who-cook-fabulously, do click on the linky button below!

Please join us tomorrow as Irene Soh from will be sharing her recipe for Chicken Rice - one of the famous dishes Singapore has to offer. It is a favourite of many Singaporeans. Chicken cooked to perfection coupled with fragrant chicken rice. It is the ultimate comfort food!

And I am sharing this post with Cook-Your-Books hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.


  1. Hi Diana,
    I love yam rice! Drooling over yours!
    Usually I would buy yam from one particular seller at the market, his yam are delicious. Wanted to buy some yam last week, but he said his yam are not ready to be harvested for another two weeks! Never mind, I'll wait, it is worth it!

    1. Hey Joyce - I totally agree. Better wait until you can find a good yam. Makes all the difference to the dish!!! Thanks for leaving comment :)