Malaysian Cuisine - Nyonya Kuih/Desserts

Penang Yam Cake (Or Kuih)

July 17, 2017 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Penang Yam Cake (Or Kuih)

Scroll to the bottom of the page for "PRINT RECIPE" ⬇

Penang Yam Cake is a savory Malaysian delicacy made primarily from taro (yam) and rice flour. This steamed cake is studded with pieces of yam and often topped with fragrant fried shallots, dried shrimp, and chopped scallions. It is typically served with a side of chili sauce, making it a flavorful and popular snack or breakfast dish in Penang.

It is not easy to get authentically flavoured Penang Yam Cake in Kuala Lumpur. I tried some at various Pasar Malam (Night Market) but I could not find that taste I was looking for. I think we Penang folk are rather fussy when it comes to Penang food. I used to make this for my late father-in-law as he loved yam. Two years ago, I adapted the recipe from the Nyonya Flavours Cook Book and it was pretty successful, so I have just kept this as my recipe since.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Penang Yam Cake

Yields:  16 pieces


650g yam (taro)
250g rice flour
1 tbsp green pea flour
750ml (3 cups) water

3 tbsp cooking oil
40g (4-5 cloves) garlic, chopped
1 tsp five-spice powder
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp pepper

Cooking oil
80g dried prawns
100g shallot, peeled and sliced thinly
2 red chillies, chopped
2 spring onions, finely cut

9 inches square pan

  1. Cut the yam into chunks. Steam until soft (for 10 to 15 mins). 
  2. In a big mixing bowl, combine rice flour, green pea flour and water to form a smooth, thick batter. Set aside.
  3. Heat up oil in a clean wok to sauté the garlic until fragrant. Add five-spices powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Lower heat and add in the yam and flour mixture. Stir until batter is well mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 9” square tray.  Smooth out the surface.
  6. Steam mixture for about 40 minutes or until firm. Remove from heat.  Set aside to cool.
  7. Heat up enough oil in a wok to very hot. Add in the sliced shallots,  stir all the time.  Turn off the heat when starting to turning brown.  Remove from the oil when the shallots turn golden brown.  Place on a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb the extra oil.
  8. Add more oil and heat up the wok again to sauté the dried prawns until fragrant and crispy. Remove from oil and chop when get cool.
  9. Top the yam cake with the sautéed dried prawns, fried shallot, chillies and spring onions.


  1. What’s the difference if I don’t put green pea flour( which I don’t ) ? Thanks

  2. Hi, Thanks for stopping by here. I have not tried without green pea flour. So, I can't tell you the different. But, the amount used is not a lot so I don't it will affect the result a lot.

    Green Pea starch/flour is basically used as a water binder a thickener and stabilizer. It can be replaced with corn starch, wheat starch or tapioca starch.

    Cheers :)


Post a Comment