Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved yam, from traditional Chinese food including or nee (芋泥) and suan pan zi (算盘子) to fast-food items such as Burger King’s taro turnover. Or nee used to be commonly served during Chinese wedding dinners in Singapore some 20 years ago; I remember relatives at other tables would pass over remaining bowls of or nee for the young, greedy me to gobble it all up. However, I hardly see any wedding dinners offer or nee nowadays, and a tasty bowl of or nee is becoming increasingly harder to come by too.
Inspired by a recent meal in Bangkok that consisted of or nee, I finally took the plunge to find out how this traditional Chinese-Teochew delicacy is made. While the process wasn’t hard, it certainly was tedious and time-consuming, especially mashing the boiled yam pieces to a smooth and creamy consistency. And instead of adding shallot oil or lard to the purée, I opted for olive oil instead. While the latter wasn’t as fragrant, it certainly was healthier. Copious amounts of oil and sugar was used, so I guess this dessert is better indulged once in a while. When it’s done, just top the dessert with some gingko nuts or sliced pumpkin pieces.