Woo Tau Koh (Yam Cake)

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Ready : 1 hr 30 mins [Prep : 30 mins † Cooking : 60 mins]
Serve :  As Snack
Generic :  Steam/Saute
Level :  Moderately Easy
Idle :  45 mins Printable Recipe.

Delicious Savory Piece of Cake Snack

“Yam Cake” or better known as “Woo Tau Koh” in Cantonese is a popular savory cake for the Chinese community; usually for breakfast or afternoon tea as a snack. You’ll be hard-pressed to get a half-decent piece of this savory steamed-cake anywhere these days. Hell, they don’t even garnish the dish properly with simple sliced Spring onion (Scallion), sliced red Chilli, fried sliced Shallots and fried Dried shrimps, let alone getting the right cake texture – and it’s the texture that makes this cake snack absolutely delicious !!! It is basically cubed Yam steamed with Rice Flour; Rice Flour being the main base-binding ingredient (Batter). Here’s The Viand’s version of, Woo Tau Koh (Yam Cake)




  • Yam (Taro) and Rice Flour.
    There is quite a number of different type of Yam out there with slightly different flavor and texture. The VianD find tat the local ones (image) has the best texture for Yam Cake – not too soft/fluffy and hold its shape better.


  • Yam Flavouring – Five-spice powder, White pepper, Salt and Sugar.
    For topping – Coarsely chopped soaked Dried Shrimps, sliced Red Chili and Scallion.


  • Salt and Sugar. All to taste. *** Note : Just dash of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice/sauce – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!!



  • Step 1 (Toppings) : Fry your own sliced Shallots and dried Shrimps; pre-cooked package stuffs is a definite No No !
    Fry sliced Shallots in low-to-medium heat (with quite a bit of oil), till golden brown and aromatic – abt 8-10 mins. Set aside.
    With the same oil, do the same with the coarsely chopped Dried shrimps, till golden brown and aromatic – abt 8-10 mins. Set aside.
  • Step 2 (Diced Yam) : With the same oil (save some if too much, U can use it for ur other cooking; full of flavors), saute the diced Yam with Five-spice powder. Add Salt and Sugar to taste. Saute till aromatic – not cook. Make sure all the Yam cubes are coated with the Five-spice powder. Set aside.
  • Step 3 (Rice Batter) : Mix Rice flour with water. Ratio 1:2. Eg: ONE part of Rice flour to TWO part of water. Mix well !!! This is extremely important cause this will determine the texture of the Yam Cake !!!
  • Step 4 (Thickening Rice Batter) : Traditionally, this is done with constant stirring of the Batter during the steaming process till it’s settled and hold its shape. Just imagine how much more time and effort is involved.
    But, here’s a lazy way out..ha..ha. Pour the Batter into a Wok. On medium heat, cook the Batter with constant stirring – add some Salt, it will help curdling a little faster, as well as some flavoring. Cook till it thickened and starts to curdle.
    At this point, add the sauteed diced Yam and continue to stir till it starts to hold shape.
  • Step 5 (Steaming) : Transfer to steaming Pan. Shake it a bit to settle the mixture. On High-heat, steam for abt 45-minutes (depending on the heat and steamer) or till Yam soften (simply poke it to test).
  • Step 6 : Let it sit for 20-30 mins, to allow everything to settle and harden before serving. Top with Dried Shrimps, Shallots and sliced Chili/Scallion. Your delicious “Yam Cake” is ready !

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