This is a common Teochew household dessert or snack that most Teochew (Chaozhou) granny will know how to do.. Usually yam cubes were used . However, for Chinese New Year, sweet potatoes were added and purposely cut into stick form so that they resemble gold bars and yams as silver bars signifying abundance of wealth..
The method of cooking is called Ko Sio (糕烧）。 It is to boil some sugar solution until thick syrup form and evenly coated the yam and sweet potatoes. Further boiling of this syrup and if dips into cold water will transform into another form of dessert called candied floss yam stick (拔丝芋头/地瓜）
The above is the candied floss banana balls (Source of picture: http://a2.att.hudong.com/57/39/20300542517430139908396961330_s.jpg)
Further boiling will render more evaporation of water and sugar will start to recrystallize and coated on the yam and hence transformed into another dessert called sugar coated yam stick. (反沙芋头）。 If you are interested in this recipe – you can refer to : Playing With Recrystallization of Sugar–Sugar Coated Yam Sticks (反沙芋头）
All these are simple recipes that use sugar and water as the main ingredients to sweeten the yam or sweet potatoes. It can be easily prepared at home and all that is needed is some experiences or practises…Don’t worry, too watery will become this recipe, to thick will become candid floss and when sugar recrystallized, it is another dessert. In the event that your sugar recrystallized, add water and it will come back to this recipe.. Is it not fun to play with these traditional recipes?
Traditional household recipes are generally very easy and definitely easier than in this illustration. For home consumption, shape is not of absolute importance and the prime consideration shall be a healthier dessert and I will share the simplified steps later.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 3-4 adult servings
200 grams of yam sticks
200 grams of sweet potatoes sticks
120 grams of castor sugar
100 grams (ml) of water
1 teaspoon of minced shallots garlics
Some cooking oil for deep frying (optional)
* This is a flexible recipe, a bit more or less is acceptable including substituting the yam or sweet potatoes with others
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Heat up some cooking oil in a wok. The oil is considered as hot enough when a wooden chopstick inserted into the hot oil, bubbles start to emit. Add in the sweet potatoes and yam sticks. Turn the heat to medium. Deep fried the sticks until the exterior are hardened. Note that the step of deep frying is optional and and the purpose is to maintain the shape of the yam stick from disintegration when cooked. These yam and sweet potatoes sticks will continue to get cooked in the next step. It took me about 10 minutes to get the texture I wanted. Drain and set aside.
In the same wok, put the minced shallots and garlics, sauté until it is slightly brownish. Add the deep fried yam and sweet potatoes sticks. Stir fry for one minute until well mixed.
Add the sugar followed by the water, bring to boil and continue to simmer until it reaches thick syrup form. You will witness the bubbles start to get bigger and bigger. Use a spoon to take the syrup out and when the syrup exposed to the air, if it flow thickly, it is considered as done. If it become some floss like or sugar recrystallize, It has been overcooked. Add a bit more water to dissolve the candy or crystallized sugar and cook until the sticky, gooey texture is reached. Best served warm when it is hot.. Sprinkled with some sesame seeds if desired.
Most tuber roots can be used. Besides yam(taro) and sweet potatoes, you can also use tapioca. Shape of the yam and sweet potatoes is of individual preference. It can be in stick form or cube form or even mould into flower shape. Shape will affect the timing of the cooking,. The smaller it is , the shorter will be the timing.
For home consumption, there is no need to deep fry the yam and sweet potatoes. The main purpose of deep frying is to maintain the shape of the yam and sweet potatoes. As such, after sautéing the minced shallots, add the yam plus sweet potatoes, add adequate water to simmer the yam until soft, add sugar and continue to cook until thick syrup form. Off heat and serve when hot. The yam and sweet potatoes may slightly disintegrate if overcooked but it will be a healthier alternative..
To make it even healthier, sautéing can be omitted, just add water and sugar to yam and sweet potatoes stick, simmer until thick syrup form.. But it lacks the aromatic that shallot oils gave.
This recipe is not difficult.. Don’t worry that it is too sweet.. If you found it to be too sweet, either dilute the syrup with a bit of water or just scrap away the syrup ..However, adding too much water will become sweet potato soup!! Remember that you can use tapioca or other roots, cook in different shapes, use different type (colours) of sweet potatoes…Trust me, kids will love this dessert (?)… but why my late mum always cooked this as breakfast.. Haha
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
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These look amazing!
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