Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fragrant Taro Rice 芋头饭Hakka phonetic : "wu tael fun"

Taro, a root vegetable commonly known as yam, is a versatile ingredient and often used in Hakka cuisine such as savory rice and braised pork. In Hakka phonetic (rendition) it is pronounced as "woo tael fun".

This nutritious one-dish meal apparently has some Chaozhou (Te chiu) influence owing to the large number of Hakkas who reside in Guangzhou.

Besides diced yam, the ingredients comprise mushrooms, dried shrimp and chicken fillet. It looks like hard work but all the time and effort are worthwhile.

You may add some glutinous rice (presoak for 30 minutes) for a more soft and chewy texture.

For step-by-step recipe of taro rice, please follow this link :

Taro (yam) rice is a one dish meal, wholesome and delicious. To cook tasty taro rice can be time consuming and requires some basic culinary skills. Give allowance to preparation time and follow the instructions closely for better results.
1 cup of yam - diced into cubes (approx 1/2 of a large yam - preferably sharp olive-shaped as they are more floury than the round ones)
120 g of chicken fillet or pork belly - sliced thinly 6 medium Chinese dried black mushroom (soak in water to soften, remove stem and cut into thin strips or cubes; keep the water for later use.)
50 g dried shrimps (wash and soak briefly, drain and set aside) 1/2 cup white glutinuous rice (soak for 1 hour)
3/4 cup white long grain rice (wash and drain just before cooking)
5 eschallots (sliced finely)
2 cloves garlic (diced)
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Seasoning : according to taste Light soy sauce; dark soy sauce; oyster sauce; fish sauce; white pepper.
1. Fry shallots and garlic in oil till light golden colour. Do not overcook as burnt garlic is bitter. Drain, remove from heat and set aside.
2. Using the garlic oil, fry all the ingredients separately, dish out and move on to the next item : dried shrimp, meat, mushroom. Replenish cooking oil if the frying pan gets too hot and dry.
3. Fry yam till lightly browned.
4. Fry glutinous rice and white rice till semi-cooked. Be patient, keep stirring to prevent rice from sticking to the frying pan or wok. It will take at least 10 minutes.
5. Mix all the fried ingredients, yam and rice with the seasoning sauces.
6. Put all the ingredients into a large pot (non-stick preferable) or rice cooker. Add mushroom water. If it does not cover the ingredients, add some warm water.
7. Bring the rice to a boil. When cooked, sprinkle fried shallots and garlic (step 1) before serving.
8. You may garnish with coriander and spring onions.
9. This dish is usually eaten with braised soy sauce duck and homemade chilli sauce.
- Permission granted by sources for reprint of recipe

- Photos : copyright reserved

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