Sunday, October 23, 2011

23 Oct 11 (Sun) - Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts [Ou Nee] (芋泥与白果)

Was feeling frustrated about work for the past one week and so wanted to get some cooking therapy done while at my sis’s place. At first I wanted to do baking since I have some mini chocolate chips, icing sugar and butter left. However, I recalled that the self-rising flour, electric mixer, measuring spoons, weighing scale and so on were returned to my BIL’s sister.

So gave up the idea of baking and instead planned to do a no-bake dessert. Came across an ou nee recipe on The Little Teochew food blog, recalled my previous failed attempt and hence decided to give it another try. Messaged my sis on Friday night to ask her to help me get yam during her weekly grocery shopping trip to Giant. Packed some shallots from home and left for her place yesterday late afternoon.

Woke up close to 9am and my sis was already busy cooking in the kitchen. She was preparing the ingredients to cook fried rice using the leftover rice from the night before as my lunch on Monday. Always feel very happy whenever my sis cooks lunch for me to pack to work on Mondays. And I always told my colleagues proudly that the lunch was cooked by my sis. Helped her in the kitchen such as washing and drying the dishes. After she was done cooking, we chatted in the living room till about 10+am before I started working on the yam she bought. It was Thai yam and weighed about 760g.

Thai Yam

Washed, cut, peeled, sliced, diced and finally managed to get the whole yam into bits and pieces. Put them into the steam oven and steamed for about 40 minutes before taking them out to mash. Compared to my previous attempt, the yam looked normal this time (i.e. purplish instead of greenish). Most of the pieces were already very soft, only some bits were still hard. I guessed it was because those were the most outer layer of the yam so would be hard to soften no matter how long the steaming took.

Thai Yam after peeling, slicing and dicing

Anyway, after mashing, measured about one cup of sugar and poured it over the mashed yam. Then combined them using a spatula and set aside. Went on to slice the shallots and then fried them in about half cup of oil over medium heat till they turned brown. Then scooped the fried shallots out of the oil, poured in the sweetened mashed yam and combined them over medium heat till all the oil was soaked into the yam paste.

Told my sis that ou nee was ready and she immediately scooped a ping-pong ball size of it to eat. In the end, she almost scalded her tongue by the hot ou nee. But both of us agreed that it tasted best when eaten fresh and hot from the frying pan. Transferred the ou nee into a bowl and left it together with the small bowl of fried shallots on the dining table to cool.

My younger niece needs to go to Beijing mid next month for her track & field training and so my BIL was looking for the winter clothing for her. He asked my sis where she put all the winter clothing and when my sis came out of the shower room, my BIL complained about a foul smell. Turned out that the foul smell was a result of my sis eating the fried shallots. It was really funny at that moment.

Then my BIL’s sis came over to borrow some stuff, told her that the ou nee was ready and she said she has some sweetened gingko nuts to go with it. Took some photos of the ou nee with fried shallots and gingko nuts before eating. My sis said the ou nee was nice while her SIL said it was sweet enough even though there were still some hard bits of yam in the paste. I thought my BIL and his family would be eating the ou nee but my sis told me that the rest actually don’t eat ou nee despite the fact that they are Teochew. So packed the rest to bring to work the next day.

Yam Paste with Fried Shallots
Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts

Ingredients (Serves 10):
760g Thai yam, peeled, sliced and diced
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
4 shallots, sliced

1.  Steam yam slices for about 40 mins till soft
2.  Mash steamed yam using a spatula
3.  Pour sugar into the mashed yam and fold in using the spatula
4.  Heat up the oil to fry the shallots till they turn brown
5.  Separate the fried shallots from the oil
6.  Add the mashed yam into the oil and start stirring with the spatula till it absorbs all the oil and forms a smooth paste
7.  Garnish the yam paste with gingko nuts or fried shallots

---------------- Edited on 24 Oct 2011 ----------------

In general, my colleagues all commented that the ou nee was nice and not too sweet. However, it was slightly on the dry side. Explained that it could be due to the fact that it was left overnight and also reheated using the microwave oven. Overall, I was simply delighted that my second attempt turned out a OK.

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