the ways of a hakka (:

CNY is barely a week away and my mum has officially started making the 2 must-have for our annual CNY dinner – 算盘子and 娘豆腐. And today, I helped to make the former!

Do you know? In Hakka, 算盘子 (abacus seed)  is called “Wu Zi Ban” ? (:

算盘子 is basically made of tapioca starch powder and yam.

i didn't know what this is until i snapped it :p

First, you steam both the tapioca starch with the yam!


Then you blend them together! My mum used a blender because she said that she’s getting old and has no energy. I offered to help but she said I have no muscles so I cant do it 😦 SO! If you want to do it the traditional way, knead them with your hands! Otherwise, a blender will do too.

blended 'dough'.

scooping them out.

After that comes the fun part! The making of the abacus!! First, you take out a small chunk then you roll them into a ball!

roll. roll.

Then, using your thumb and forefinger gently make a dent in the center!

press gently.

And VIOLA! You have one 算盘子 done! 😀

It’s apparently wrong to have fingernails marks on your 算盘子. Lucky I cut my nails! Here’s some of my mum’s not so successful ones 😛 Note: No worries, we cleaned our hands and nails before making!


I was asking my mum why they call it 算盘子 when abacus seeds have no holes in the center. And my mum went, “..silly! there’s a hole in the center for the rod!” OHHHHH!  😛

Guess which is mine!

can you guess which plate is mine? Hint: my mum said mine looks like Halls sweet!

After making the 算盘子s, you boil them in water!

boil boil double boil.

dump them in!

Then you wait for them to float!

the early risers!

Before you scoop them up!

ding ding!

Pour abit of oil to prevent them from sticking to each other, let them cool and you can now store them in the fridge!

ready for storage!

Of course, 算盘子 is not just yam and tapioca starch! Before consuming them, you need to fry it with shiitake and erm.. *runs to take cheat sheet* bulb of garlic, minced meat, shrimp, chilli, pepper and soy sauce! If you are a vegetarian, fret not! Just fry with shiitake and minced tofu! Leave out the meat and shrimp (:

Mum will be cooking the first batch on Wednesday for the Social Media pals (: YAY! While I insist that they will be happy with half a box, she wants to give them ONE box. So guys, be prepared! 😀

mum's back view! she said, "No pictures!"

We’re taking a break now. Mum’s off to buy more yam, I think. She’ll be making 娘豆腐 (yong tao fu) on Wednesday. If I can stand the stench of meat, I’ll make sure to take some pictures and post them up (:

More photos at Facebook! That’s 2 Hakka food I can cook now! 算盘子 and 雷茶!

Answer: The one on the left (:


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