Steamed Taro Cake

Credit: Yi-Wen Lee

Chef – Yi-Wen Lee


1½ bowls yam taro, cleaned, peeled and diced into 1-2cm cubes
1 bowl sorghum wholegrain flour
2 tbsp kudzu root powder or arrowroot starch
2 bowls water
½ – ¾ bowl fava beans
½ cup red bell peppers, diced
5-6 pieces of shiso leaves aka perilla, julienned
5 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fermented organic bean paste
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil

Note: The ratio that works to bind the ingredients together is approximately a 2:1:1½ ratio:  2 bowls water – 1 bowl sorghum flour – 1½ bowls yam plus some kudzu or arrowroot starch


Heat a pan over medium-high heat, and stir-fry the shallots until they become aromatic. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Then add in the minced garlic, stir for another 1-2 minutes. Add diced yam to the pan, and stir-fry with the shallots until caramelized brown, another 3-5 minutes.  Add in the fava beans or sweet garden peas and diced bell peppers, stir another 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix the sorghum flour, kudzu or arrowroot starch and water, stir until it forms a smooth paste and there are no lumps in the mixture. Add the flour mixture into the pan slowly, stir until everything forms a thick paste. Add the fermented bean paste, pepper and julienned shiso leaves, then mix well. Pour the mixture into a heat proof bowl/plate and steam over high heat for 45 minutes, or until cooked. Serve with chili sauce on top, and garnish with finely chopped chives or spring onions.

Yi-Wen’s Wholefood Health Tips:
Shiso also called Japanese basil or perilla, with red or green leaves, is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral medicinal herb plant, the leaves impart a reddish color and natural flavoring when combined with fermented soybean paste with yam or taro provides added protein and health benefits.
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