I have tried many versions of traditional steamed chinese yam cake (Orh kueh). Till now, the one that left a lasting impression is my grandmother’s version. Her yam cakes are simple, with no fancy ingredients, yet so full of yummy yam bits and shrimp flavors. I love how the heat, sweetness and crisp from the garnishes work so nicely with this savory dish. This recipe is based on the memories of those flavors I have remembered as a kid.

Do give it a try. You may take a liking to my simple and wholesome version of traditional yam cake.


Traditional steamed chinese yam cake (Orh kueh)


  1. 800 g yam (Peeled and trimmed, cut into small rectangular pieces)
  2. 4 cloves garlic (Chopped finely)
  3. 50 g dried prawns (Soaked in 100ml water till soft,drained and chopped roughly. Reserve prawn water)
  4. 1/4 tsp five-spice powder
  5. 4 tsp light soya sauce
  6. 1 tbsp sesame oil
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. A dash of white pepper
  9. 5 tbsp cooking oil
  10. 250-300 g rice flour
  11. 80 g tapioca flour
  12. 500 ml water mixed with 1 chicken stock cube/ 500ml chicken stock
  1. 1 stalk spring onion (Chopped)
  2. 1 red chilli (Chopped)
  3. Fried shallots
  4. Roasted white sesame seeds
  5. Dark sweet sauce
  6. Shrimp chilli paste (optional)


  1. Whisk rice flour, tapioca flour and chicken stock till well combined . Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok on medium heat. Stir fry yam till slightly soft. Remove yam and set aside.
  3. In the same wok, heat remaining oil and stir fry dried prawns, garlic till fragrant.
  4. Lower the heat, add in yam, five-spice powder, light sauce, sesame oil, salt, white pepper and reserved dried prawns liquid. Stir fry till the dried prawn water is absorbed by the yam.
  5. Add in the flour stock mixture and stir till mixture thickens to a batter form. The thickness of the batter will depend on your preference on the firmness of your yam cake.
  6. Transfer the batter into a lightly greased deep tin or lined with baking paper. Level and smoothen the top of the batter. Steam for 40-50 minutes or till inserted skewer comes out almost clean. Cool completely  before slicing.
  7. Transfer sliced yam cake on a serving plate. Garnish with spring onions, red chilli, fried shallots  and roasted white sesame seeds. Drizzle dark sweet sauce and serve with shrimp chilli paste at the side (optional).