Mum’s Steamed Yam Cake (Orh Kueh) Recipe

One of our favourite mum’s specialty dish is this Yam (Taro) Steamed Cake or known as ‘Orh Kueh’ in our dialect.

Mum’s orh kueh often becomes the star dish at family gatherings, parties and events. I remember the laborious efforts to prepare this dish especially when everything has to be cut, chopped manually, and then the heavy batter cooked till a thick enough consistency, then steamed for at least an hour. The batter was the difficult part as it gets sticky and heavy to stir over a wok.

It always begins with mum going to the wet market to search for the right type of yam. She also taught me that once you find the right ones, you can always get extras to be frozen for later use.

Her years of experience making this cake has taught her to choose the best type of yam, that will have a nice fluffy, powdery texture and the fragrance to give this cake its flavour. Over the years, her skills and improvisation made the recipe even better. However, using traditional methods of cooking almost always have that estimated “agak-agak” factor. The cake does not always turn out perfect.

Thus, I decided to try this out the Thermomix method. I sat through one of her Orh Kueh making sessions, and weighed each ingredient carefully while doing a little adjustments to ensure we have a taste and texture that is always consistent. I have tried this recipe many rounds, received approval from my family, who are used to mum’s traditional orh kueh, and thus, am happy to be finally able to share this here.

Having said that, every family has their own preference in taste and flavours, so this may not be your perfect Orh Kueh and you are welcomed to make adjustments as you like. I’m sharing ours, which I hope will be like a heritage I can pass on to my children and theirs after.

Mum’s Steamed Yam Cake (Kuih)

A traditional steamed savoury yam (taro) cake with dried shrimps, mince, mushrooms and yam
Course Snack
Cuisine Chinese


  • Thermomix


  • 150 g yam cubes, fried 1" cubes, pan or lightly deep fried
  • 15 g dried shrimps, presoaked 10 mins, rinse, drained
  • 50 g dried shiitake mushrooms presoaked, squeezed dry, chopped
  • 75 g mince, pork or chicken optional
  • 50 g shallots
  • 25 g cooking oil
  • 250 g blended rice flour 1/2 packet
  • 25 g tapioca flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt adjust to liking
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper adjust to liking
  • 600 g water


  • Brush a little oil onto a steaming tray. 21cm dia. (round)
  • Prepare flour solution.
  • Mix rice flour, tapioca flour with water. Mix well. Strain. Set aside
  • Place dried shrimps into TM bowl. Chop 5 secs/Sp5. Set aside.
  • Without washing TM bowl. Place shallots into TM bowl. Chop 5 secs/Sp5.
  • Add cooking oil. Saute 6mins/120c/Sp1
  • Add in dried shrimps, chopped mushrooms, minced pork/chicken. Saute 8mins/120c/Sp2
  • Add in fried yam cubes, flour solution (sieved), salt & pepper. Cook 10-12mins/120C/Sp2. Adjust cooking time if necessary. Check that the batter becomes thick and sticky and colour changes slightly to a darker shade.
  • Pour into a greased steaming pan. Smooth out the surface. Place into the Varoma dish, ensure at least 20% of the holes at the bottom of the Varoma dish are uncovered.
  • Clean mixing bowl. May need a little scrub as flour solution will leave some residue.
  • Pour 1500g water into mixing bowl. 10mins/V/Sp2
  • When water has reached 100c, Set Varoma dish in place. Steam 60mins/V/Sp2. At 30mins, check mixing bowl to ensure there is enough water. If water has dropped to less than 500g, top up with hot water to at least 1000g. (2nd dot mark in the TM bowl, from bottom up)
  • Once steamed, the cake will have a slightly wet appearance on top, remove from Varoma dish and set aside to cool completely. May take 2-3 hours or more depending on room temperature. Slice to serve when it has cooled completely.
  • Top with stir fried pickled radish, fried shallots, chopped scallions and some fresh chilies or as desired. Serve with a sweet sauce like hoisin sauce and chillies sauce or as desired.


Yam aka Taro comes in various types and sizes.
The ideal ones for these types of steamed kuih are light for its size.  This means the yams have less water and texture will be more fluffy, powdery and fragrant.
Available in some supermarkets and most fresh grocery stores, but sometimes a good one is hard to come by.  If unsure, seek the assistance of the seller.  When you do get good ones, you can pre cut, fry and then freeze for later use.  
Just remember to thaw it before using for this recipe.  
Recipe can be doubled, for a larger steaming tray (to be steamed over a steaming wok over normal fire) or 2x 21cm round steaming trays to be steamed separately in the Thermomix.  It is okay to leave the steaming for later after the batter is ready and poured into the tray.  
When pouring mixture into steaming tray, use a spatula to lightly mix it further to ensure you have an even batter.  Sometimes the bottom of the TM bowl tend to have thicker batter vs the top.  
How to prepare pickled radish
I like using sweet pickled radish, or you can mix salty & sweet ones 1:1
Rinse and dry pickled radish.  
Place into TM bowl and chop.  8 secs/Sp8
Add some oil (10-15g) into TM bowl to stir fry.  15 mins/120C/Sp2
For a drier variation, stir fry using High Temp function on the TM 6 (according to the actual ingredient weight of the recipe you are using)  
Toss on a pan over small fire until the radish is dry (as desired). This may take 10 mins or more.  
Watch out for jumping radish! (when its nice and dry, the radish will start popping on the pan)
Keyword chinese, savoury cake, steamed cake, taro, traditional cake, yam

Happiness is in foods, that we love, cherish and share with loved ones

Happy Thermomixing as always and do leave me a comment if you have tried it too. Would love to hear from you.

*** Macy ***

Mum’s Steamed Yam Kuih

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