Malaysian Cuisine - Nyonya Kuih/Desserts

Orh Nee (Sweet Yam Paste)

March 07, 2023 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Orh Nee (Teochew Sweet Yam Paste)

Orh Nee (Teochew Sweet Yam Paste)

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My mother in-law likes to keep a stock of sweet potatoes, yam or pumpkin in the house. Sometime, she may buy too many and we have to figure out what to do with it. This is the yam that has been kept in the fridge for more than a week. We decided to turn it into Orh Nee, which is a Teochew dessert of sweet yam paste. There are a lot of recipes on the internet with many variations. I modified what I could find for a version with less oil and sugar.

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How To Make Orh Nee (Teochew Sweet Yam Paste Dessert)


450g - 480g yam or taro (peeled and sliced into pieces, left around 400g)
250g - 300g water, adjust according to your desired texture (I used 285g water) *
30g rock sugar or brown sugar
Pinch of salt or to taste

30g cooking oil (please add more if wish), can be replaced with butter
1 shallot, sliced (omit if you don't like onion taste)

Gingko Syrup:
20 gingko nuts
30g brown sugar
100g water
2 pandan leaves, cut into about 4 inches length

*Can be replace with 50% coconut milk and 50% water

  1. Gingko Syrup:
    1. Crack gingko nuts and remove shell. 
    2. In a saucepan, add sugar, gingko and water, pandan leaves then cook for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and gingko nuts are cooked.
  2. Yam Paste/Puree:
    1. Peel, wash and slice the yam.
    2. Steam the yam in a steamer over high heat for around 20 minutes. 
    3. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the shallot and sauté on a medium flame until shallot become brown.  Dish out the fried shallot.  Leave the oil in the pan and set aside.
    4. Place the steamed yam, sugar, salt  and water in food processor and blend till smooth.  Please adjust the water amount accordingly.  
    5. Pour the yam puree into the same non-stick pan that contain the shallot oil.  Cook over medium low heat till it reaches the consistency of peanut butter or the desired texture is achieved.
    6. Serve hot or cold with the gingko nuts alone or together with syrup.