Saturday, June 09, 2007

Crispy Fried Yam Ring with Prawns and Chicken

Yam Ring aka Taro Pot or Fatt Put (in cantonese) always has this 'wow' factor when served. It is a very popular specialty dish for occasions like wedding dinners or during chinese new year.

I have always thought it was a time consuming dish but having made this twice since, I have found it is easily done if the yam ring is prepared beforehand. Then just before serving all one has to do is fry the taro ring and the toppings.

The center filling is just a simple stir fry of any combination of your favourite meat or vegetables. For that special occasion more pricey and upmarket ingredients can be used.

Yam Ring

Ingredients for yam ring
300 gm yam (skinned, steamed and mashed)
5 Tbsp wheat starch
5 Tbsp boiling water
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp shortening
½ Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp five spice powder

1. Cut yam into small pieces and steam for 10-15 minutes or until soft (cooking time will differ with each yam variety). Mash with potato masher.

2. Pour boiling water into wheat starch (make sure the water is boiling hot in order to cook the wheat starch). Mix thoroughly.

3. Add wheat starch dough and the rest of the other ingredients to the mashed yam. Knead or mix with a potato masher until it is well combined.

4. Pat dough into a long strip and join the ends to form into a ring (do not use a rolling pin to roll the dough as this will make the yam dense). My ring measures 2"H x 5½" diameter x 3/4" thick (depending on how big your ring is, if there is any leftover dough, do not throw it away).

5. Place the yam ring in a bamboo sieve or foil dish. (I cut holes in a pie dish so that I can lower it easily with the yam ring into the deep fryer).

6. Rest the yam ring in the fridge for at least an hour.

7. Heat oil up in the deep fryer. Drop some vermicelli in and fry until crispy (the vermicelli will puff up once it hits the hot oil). Set aside for garnishing.

8. Lower the yam ring into the oil (make sure the oil is hot enough to avoid ending up with a greasy yam ring). Deep fry until crispy and golden brown.

9. Remove and sit on wire basket to drain oil and place on serving plate.

Yam Basket
Ingredients for Fillings
200 gm chicken meat (debone meat from 2 drumsticks and season)
8 raw prawns
2 dried mushroom (soak to soften)
1 capsicum
½ carrot
½ onion
1 tsp garlic
2 Tbsp cashew nut

¼ tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp shao hsing wine (chinese cooking wine)
4 Tbsp water
1 tsp cornflour or potato starch

Yam Ring
Method for filling
1. Cube the chicken and season meat with a dash of soy sauce, pepper and cornflour .
2. Cut the mushroom, capsicum and onions into big pieces.
3. With 1 Tbsp oil in wok, fry prawns until it turns pink. Remove and set aside.
4. Add another 1 Tbsp oil to wok and brown the chicken with the onions and garlic. Add mushroom, capsicum, carrots and stir fry quickly. Add the gravy ingredients, prawns and cashew nuts. Bring gravy to a boil.
5. Scoop into center of yam ring.

Fatt Put

deep fried vermicelli (tung fun)
cucumber sliced

To Serve :
1. Arrange the fried vermicelli on a large plate. Place the yam ring on the vermicelli.
2. Garnish the side of the plate with cucumber. Scope the cooked fillings into the middle of the ring. Serve immediately.

Yam Basket

Note :
1. With the leftover dough from the yam, I managed to make three woo kok (yam puff). Serve these as an appetiser or entree. Or you can just deep fry the dough and serve it together with the yam ring.
2. Shredded lettuce can be used in place of fried vermicelli for garnishing.

Recipe : Cookbook of Tham Yui Kai (adapted)

P/s Thanks to my pal cwl for sending me the recipe with an enticing pic of the yam basket which gave me the much needed nudge to make this magnificient dish.


Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi Sinner,

I'm a silent reader of your blog and I just want to say I love everything you posted.

Your yam ring is simply lovely! So appertizing looking and I especially love your butterfies cucumber as decoration. So ingenious and pretty!

Sinner said...

Hi little corner of mine,

Welcome to my blog. Thanks for the compliment. I am a silent reader of your lovely blog too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

I am also from Nz.Lovely to see all these receipe online. I can see you are definitely a great cook!! I find all those pics really great and helpful!!

I am looking forward to try out some of your receipe soon.

Sinner said...

Hi sharpei puppy,

Kia ora to my fellow kiwi. Thank you for your compliment.

Would love to hear your feedback on any recipes you try.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner, I am trying out this receipe. Tomorrow/Sunday I will know whether I have success because I am resting my yam ring now in the fridge. I will let you know..

Anonymous said...

Hi sinner,

Yes, The Yam Ring Receipe is delicious!!I am glad to say it's great! My mum cook it for the family the one I lay on the fridge for days hehe and my dad say it's great!And I like it too though when I come home the food is already cold but it is still yummy!I finish the whole plate cuz 90% gone already so I am still lucky my family save me a piece of yam to sample.

Sinner said...

Hi Sharpei Puppy,

I am so glad your family liked the yam ring. Lucky for you they did leave you with a small piece ;)

I usually make extra rings and freeze them uncooked. Makes for a real quick and easy meal.

Thanks for the feedback.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Thank you so much! You can't believe what my mum ask me this morning? She ask me if there is any yam ring left? I told her all gone? And I ask her was it very yummy? I will make some this weekend again for them.

Yeah, I add extra five spice powder to the yam hehe cuz smell nicer u should try that next time too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner, can't believe I cooked up this dish which only appear during Chinese wedding dinners! 800gm of yam can produce 3 rings cooked over 2 weeks ! However, much oil is needed to fry the ring in my non-stick pan. Veg items are used cos of my vegetarian hubby and as usual, the kids like the crispy fried tung hoon. Thks for sharing the recipe. It has brought much joy to my dinning table!

Sinner said...

It makes me very happy when one of our fav dishes is enjoyed by others as well.
Yes, it does indeed require much oil to completely cover the ring.

Glad your whole family liked the dish. Appreciate the feedback :)

Unknown said...

hey sinner!
just wondering what kind of yam you used when you made the yam ring coz im down in dunedin and i tried using taro once and when i steamed it it became all dense and slimey but your yam looks quite dry.

Sinner said...

Most of the time I use yam from my garden. These are them here. They are quite different from those sold but they take ages to grow.

But on the odd occassion when there is a special on the pink taro @$1.99 or too lazy to dig, I have bought some. I too notice a difference in taste and texture. We prefer the yam from my garden.

If you do use them (the pink taro), just persevere with the mashing - I find them a bit on the dry side.

PS Lee said...

HELP! I've tried your receipt and somehow when I fried the yam ring, after about 5 mins, the ring started to crumble and fall apart! So I have mashed up yam thingy which was pretty disastrous. What have I done wrong here? Is it because of the shortening as I heard from my sis in law that shortening acts a 'softening' agent in cakes so she suspected it 'soften's up the yam ring and disintegrated??!!

Anonymous said...

HELP! My yam ring started to disintegrate and fell apart during frying!! What happened? I've tried 2 yam rings and both of them met with the same fate and I got a mashed up yam paste instead of a perfect hardened cripsy ring.

Sinner said...

Pei Sze, Sleep,

When making the yam ring the following steps are very important :

1. make sure your water is 'boiling' and not just hot when adding to the wheat starch.
2. make sure there is enough oil to cover over the yam ring.
3. the oil must be the correct temperature when the ring is lowered. We have a deep fryer so the temperature is regulated.

Sometimes the type of yam could also be a factor.

During the early days when I was trying out recipes for woo kok (yam puff) I too had the yam puff disintegrating before my eyes but the fault could have been due to my inexperience and not the recipes fault.

But this recipe has not failed me. It is our favourite dish and I make this at least once a month.

Since a few readers have also made this successfully, I can only encourage that you try again and not give up.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I've made double postings with different IDs. Thanks again. I did boil the water and added into the wheat starch or is it that I need to add wheat starch to the boiling water?? Also my deep fryer broke down when I tried this dish and no choice have to use the normal stove to fry it but the pot was so deep that I nearly used up 3litre of oil yet still can only cover 80% of the yam ring, so the top part was exposed to air. Also when I removed it from the frying pot, the bottom part of the 'yam ring' got stuck to the aluminium foil plate and I had to scrape it off. Anyway will update again after I've tried again.

Sinner said...

Pei Sze,
Tip the boiling water into the wheat starch all at once.

The size specified in my recipe is specifically to fit my deep fryer. You might have to make a smaller/shorter ring to fit your frying pot. You want your oil to at least come to the top of the ring.

Lightly flour the foil and before you deep fry the ring, move the ring about to make sure it is not stuck in the foil.

Make sure you rest the ring in the fridge. This firms it up and make it easier to handle. I usually make it in the morning and leave it in the fridge until evening dinner time. You can even leave it overnight.

At some point during the deepfrying process, the ring will float as it cooks and come away from the foil. But it will not be golden enough yet, so hold it down lightly with a spoon and with another spoon, ladle hot oil over any part that pop above the oil.

Make sure you handle the yam ring gently during the frying process. At no stage, break the crust or the oil will go into it and it will be oily and the ring might even collapse.

I don't really know what has gone wrong or which part is the 'culprit' but I would suggest that for the next one, try and test it first by making 1 or 2 woo kok (yam puff) from the same dough, put in some filling, rest it in the fridge and then fry the woo kok with enough oil over it. That way if it still disintegrate then you will know once and for all that something is not right with the yam dough.

'Long winded' reply but I really do want you to succeed.

FengYun88 said...

hi sinner,

i have a question to ask from you,yup.
can i make the uncooked yamring a few days before i deep fry ? thanks =) lookinf forward to your soonest reply.

Sinner said...

Hi FengYun88,
Yes you can leave it in the fridge for a few days. For me, I usually make an extra ring and freeze it uncooked. Saves a lot of work when I feel like eating this dish :)

cook4fun said...

Hi again Sinner,

Tried the yam ring last night and it turned out near perfect...only not really round like a ring!!! I need to work on the shape...and I have one question, when I fried the ring, the inside of the ring started to flake a little...could it be that the yam used had a lot of inherent starch in it or that i only covered 3/4 of the ring in oil??

So yummy that we ate up the whole thing!!! Thanks again!!!

Sinner said...

When you fry the ring, try to have it fully immerse in oil. If not possible and the top stick above the oil, try to bathe (spoon) hot oil over it constantly. You want a skin (coating) to quickly form on the yam ring to seal it.
The skin will prevent the yam ring from flaking and the inside from getting greasy.
Am glad you like the yam ring. Thanks for the feedback.

Anonymous said...

HiHi.. i got a question ya, do u defrost the ring before u deepfried if put in the frezzer.

And the a ring on freeze for a week long? thanks. pls reply . thanks alot!

Sinner said...

Hi FengYun88,
Yes, leave it to defrost at room temperature before deepfrying.
You can leave it in the freezer for a month.

Anonymous said...

I have tried the recipe ( halfway ) and the uncooked ring is now resting in the fridge. It's crazy but it's the first time making it and will be presented to my extended family two days from now. I want to fry the ring later to see how it turns out ( in case it disintegrates ).

Suppose all turns well, how do I keep the fried ring for 2 days? fridge or freeze? After that do I baked or re-fry?

Sinner said...

Stop ! Have you got any leftover yam dough. If you want to test whether it disintegrates, do it on a smaller piece of tester dough.

I don't know how good it will taste if you pre-fry and let it sit around for 2 days. It is alright for the uncooked dough to sit in the fridge for 2 days.

Anonymous said...

I can reshape the ring and try out one wee corner. Thanks for the suggestion. Will do it right away!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sinner, I did it!

I made a mini ring and it turns out better than I expected, like a smooth onion ring.

The texture is a bit chewy probably because I had a bit more wheat flour than instructed ( on the other hand makes it easier to work on )

Finally, what temperature is best for frying? I was worried about the breaking up so I fry it very very hot ( making it a bit burnt )

Will chill the ring till Sat. Many thanks, Sinner, for the quick help. Really appreciate that !

Sinner said...

Hi Tricia,
I did a happy dance here myself :)

We fry ours in the deep fryer. No knob to control the temperature control and my thermometer is broken so can't stick it in to test. Since you already have your first trial run, maybe turn the heat down a tad so as not to burn it so fast.

I am sure your extended family will be most impressed with your masterpiece ;)

Anonymous said...

Dear Sinner,

I try the yam ring today, but it's a bit sticky, very hard to roll to long strip and shape to a ring, and when i freeze the yam ring , do i just freeze it uncover ?

Please help. thank you.


Sinner said...

The yam dough will feel tacky. Just treat it like you would pastry or bread dough - flour your hands and working surface.

Freeze it in an airtight bag so it won't get freezer burn or dry out.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sinner,

Thank you very much, so I just need to flour my hand with any flour or all purpose flour will do.

My yam ring is still in the freezer, thank you, I better keep it properly now. I think I can only eat it during new year only.

Kong Hee Fatt Choy and Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family.


Sinner said...

Loh, any flour will do. Kong Hei Fatt Choy to you too.

Anonymous said...

Just want to share our method. After mashing the yam (one medium sized yam),we add some cornflour (about 2 teaspoons)to it.Then we shape it into a ring by hand. We then pat some breadcrumbs on the outside surface of ring,put it in fridge for an hour.We fry it in some oil and to avoid using too much oil,we turn it over to fry the other side.Have been preparing this dish this way for years.Hope this tip is useful.

amarjit said...

I am sooooo greatful for your receipe for the yam ring. It has always been my favourite. When I was in Malaysia I could easily get it from any chinese restaurant but now I am in NZ so your receipe really helped me. I tried it last night for the first time and it turned out perfect. Thanks a million.
God Bless amarjit

Sinner said...

Hi amarjit,

So glad you like the yam ring. At least taro is not in short supply or overly expensive here in NZ :)

Thanks for the feedback.

phoebeluv said...

Hello, do you think i can use frozen yam? it is easier to get frozen yam in australia. and is there anything i should be aware of if using frozen yam (like when defrost is very wet and soft, etc so what should i do?).

thank you.

Sinner said...

Hi phoebeluv,

Yes you can use frozen yam, if you have no choice. Sometimes I dig up too much from the garden and have thrown them in the freezer to use later. However if you buy frozen, you won't know what type of yam it is.

The defrosted yam won't be soft. You will still need to steam it.

I would have thought you would be able to get fresh yam in Aust easily. All our asian shops here in Auckland now stock fresh yam.

phoebeluv said...

Hello Sinner, I tried this last saturday for the first time and it was perfect! So happy with the outcome...I made 2 of them using 500g frozen yam, the other one still in the freezer.

You are really great and thanks for the recipe. I'd taken some pictures of it, how can I show them to you?

Sinner said...

Hi phoebeluv,

I can almost see you jumping about with happiness ! lol Great outcome.

Why not post the pictures in your blog and we can all go and drool over your masterpiece ? :)

Thanks for the feedback. So glad it turned out perfect at your first attempt.

phoebeluv said...

hi sinner, i'm shy to say i don't blog coz i don't know how to....hehehe.

Anonymous said...

This recipe rocks!
The flavors have been excellent, but I have yet to perfect the yam ring. I've crumbled two so far. Lacking the industrial fryer, I tried the improvised foil dish, and ended up with a pile of collapsed and mush.
So, I will try for multiple individual rings next time, so everyone can have their own small ring, instead of going for an ambitious 6" centerpiece.
Thanks again and wish me luck,

Lilian said...

What is shortening? I haven't seen it in the supermarket so i have no idea what to look for. Is it a type of vegetable fat? What brand do u use?

Sinner said...

Thanks Arena.
In our humble kitchen, we do have to improvise and make do with what we have. As you found out, the frying is quite crucial to a successful yam ring.

Individual yam ring sounds great. No more fighting over the last piece. lol. Once you get the hang of it, I am sure you will be able to achieve your 6" masterpiece easily.

Appreciate the feedback. Good luck !

Sinner said...

Lilian, if you click on the link for shortening, you will be able to see a pic of what is available for us here in NZ.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE HELP! sinner, i'm craving to death for this yam basket & trying this recipe today. I'm prepared my taro yesterday & kp in freeze overnite. Once i put it in the hot oil & the taro ring destroyed as i'm see it in tears...I did put all the ingredients as per recipe but what i did wrong? it's normal to have the taro mashed soft or can i put some cornflour @ flour to make the mashed more hard?... PLEASE advise me!!


Sinner said...

If you prepare the taro overnight, you can keep it in the fridge not the freezer. When you put it in the hot oil, make sure the oil cover the ring. You need the hot oil to quickly seal the surface of the ring.

It is normal for the taro mash to be soft and pliable when you are moulding it into shape. However it should hold its shape when you stand it up. Do not put more cornflour in. You can dust cornflour on the surface to make it not sticky before you put it in the fridge. It must rest in the fridge to harden the yam ring up.

If you have a read on some of the comments up above, I have given more details on the making which might help.

Please don't give up just yet. It is really worth the effort.

mycookinghut said...

This is something I ate when I was young and never tried making it. My mom used to cook a lot when she was younger and this is something she made for special occasions! Thx for sharing n reminding me this fantastic dish!

Sodium-squared said...

Hi does the type of yam matter? The one I used looks greenish grey after steaming. But it is too mushy/watery to form any shape before and after being in the fridge... Help! Does it "absorb" too much water from the steaming process because I slice them thinly? Please advise! Really wanna make this dish but have failed twice!

Vasanthi said...

Can wheat starch be replaced with potato starch or cornflour?

Mark said...

Can the yam basket be deep fried, chilled till next day, then reheated by baking in the oven the next day, if we don't want to do any last minute deep frying?


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