Yam Paste With Gingko Nuts (Orh Nee 银杏芋泥)



I prepared some Hakka Abacus Seeds yesterday and I have some left over yam paste. I therefore decided to use these yam pastes to prepare the Teochew famous dessert – Or Nee.


I don’t actually intended to issue this recipe as it was captured in my Facebook Page already. However, when I posted the pictures in Facebook Groups, members of the Group are requesting for the recipe. I have therefore decided to transfer the previous recipe to this main blog. Because the recipe was written earlier in a different format, therefore, the method of writing in this post will be slightly different from the recent post.


Or Nee is an authentic traditional Teochew desserts  using yam or taro as the main ingredient. Almost all Teochew restaurants will have this dessert.


Though in Singapore and Malaysia, it was related to be a Teochew dessert, however as per Chinese Wikipedia alike Baike, it was written that in People’s Republic of China, this dessert was common in the Fujian province especially in the Fuzhou city. (Note that Chaozhou (or Teochew) is situated in the Guangdong province near the boarder with Fujian)


“芋泥是闽菜中的传统甜食之一,其中又尤以福鼎的八宝芋泥最为地道。用芋头烹制的芋泥,以独特的味道而脍炙人口。原料可选:竹芋、红芋、猴头芋等,但以槟榔芋最佳。将芋头蒸熟,去皮碾压为泥,拌上猪油、白糖、香料、芝麻等在旺火热锅上翻搅均匀后装入盆中,并用红枣、山揸熟莲子、冬瓜糖等在芋泥面上装饰太极图案,淋上一层熟猪油,上笼用旺火蒸熟透即可上席。芋泥中的上品称为“太极芋泥”和“八宝芋泥”。由于猪油蒙盖,制成后貌似冷食,实则热食。在酒宴上常在收席前做为甜点推出。福建东部沿海地区皆有做芋泥的习俗。其中尤以福州芋泥最为有名,是福州地区典型的甜食。此菜香郁甜润,细腻可后,是闽菜的传统甜食之一。每当宴席接近尾声时,上的最后一道“压轴”菜,通常都是芋泥。” (Source: http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E8%8A%8B%E6%B3%A5)


This is not a difficult dessert to make except a bit laborious. Chinese have a saying: “做芋泥没功夫,糖油做师傅” and literally translated as “No kungfu is needed in the preparation of yam paste, but oil and sugar are the shifus”.. It means that the preparation of yam paste is very simple, but what constituted a good bowl of yam paste is the quality of sugar and oils used. Traditionally, yam paste was prepared using lard and in this illustration, lards were used as well. Of course, besides oil and sugar, the quality of yam is also very important.


Generally, in Singapore’s and Malaysia’s restaurant, Orh Nee was served either in a thick paste form or creamy form. They are essentially the same except for the creamy form, some coconut milk or fresh milk were added to thin the thick paste.



Servings: About 8 adult servings


  • 500 grams of taro or yam (weight after de-skinned)
  • 100 grams of pumpkin (weight after de-skinned)

Not in picture

  • Few sprigs of spring onion (the white part)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of lard or other cooking oil
  • 100 grams of castor sugar
  • Some gingko nuts
  • 100 grams of coconut milk or fresh milk (if creamy yam paste is preferred)




  • Slice the yam and pumpkin into small pieces and place in a steamer. Steam the taros and pumpkins until soft. It will take about 20-25 minutes (depending on the heat). Pumpkins will be cooked much faster. You can use a fork to scratch the yam. As long as you can scratch it easily, it is considered as cooked.


Mashing the yam – Method 1 (using the fork)

  • Use the fork to mash the hot yam until fine. You can also use the potatoes masher to mash the yam. All these need to be done when the yam is hot. Depending on the type of yam used, some may not be easy to mash until smooth. As an added measure, you may want to sieve the mashed yam such that the yam paste will be smooth. If the yam is too difficult to mash or sieve, you can add a few tablespoons of water.


Mashing the yam – Method 2 (using the rolling pin)

  • When the yam is hot, transfer to a plastic bag. Seal the opening and use a rolling pin to roll or “hit” until fine. For this method, sieving may also be needed if the mashed yam are too coarse.


Mashing the yam – Method 3 (using the food processor)

  • When the yam is hot, transfer the yam to the food processor and blend until as fine as possible. Generally, you will be able to get a higher recovery rates from this method (meaning most yam can be used) and the mashed yam is more finer too.


  • In a frying pan, have some lard  or cooking oil and put in the chopped spring onions. Stir fry until it is slightly brownish and aroma start to spread to the house. Add in the yam paste and sugar. Stir fry until well mixed. If it is overly sticky to stir fry, add a few tablespoon of water.

  • Transfer the stir fried yam paste to a greased bowl, level it and add additional 1 tablespoon of lard or shallot oil on top of the yam paste. Steam under high heat for about 10 minutes. Off the heat, place on top of the yam paste some gingko nuts and steamed pumpkins before serving.


  • Preparing creamy yam paste – If you prefer your yam paste to be creamy, put the cooled yam paste, add some milk or coconut milk in a blender and blend until smooth. As for the amount of liquid to be added, it will be about 20% of the weight of your yam paste. Depending on the consistency that you are looking for, you are advised to add the milk gradually. As the milk will dilute the sweetness, additional sugar may be needed.


  • The stir frying stage is a rather traditional method and is optional.. I personally prefer this step because as a result of stir frying the paste with fragrant shallot oil, the fragrance of yam paste will be much more aromatic.   If you don’t prefer the stir frying, you can just add in castor sugar and proceed to the steaming step)

  • For this illustration, the net yam paste is 500 g and I have added 100 g of sugar. It is just right for me but you can gradually add the sugar until it suits your taste buds.



This is an old recipe and rewriting the recipe is actually tougher. Remember that a good yam paste depends very much on the type of yam that you can get hold of and the oils used to cook the yam paste. If you are health conscious, after blending the yam paste, add sugar and proceed to steam for 10 minutes… Drizzle with coconut milk before serving. Is it not the preparation was easy?


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


(updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  










4 thoughts on “Yam Paste With Gingko Nuts (Orh Nee 银杏芋泥)

  1. Thanks for this post as I have been surfing the net for Orh Nee the past few weeks. I will give this recipe a try but will opt out the coconut milk. I prefer the Orh Nee in thick version.

  2. Pingback: Special Compilation of Teochew Cuisines (潮州美食食谱汇编) | GUAI SHU SHU

  3. Hello there,
    After mixing in the milk, do we steam it again?
    and how long can we keep for the non-milk version and milk version?
    is there a way to prolong its freshness?

    Thank you

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