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Yam Paste (Orh Nee) Recipe

yam paste orh nee recipe

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Serving: 6 People

This famous Teochew dessert is known as sweet yam paste or ‘or nee’ and it is usually served warm with gingko nuts and pumpkin. There are different recipes for yam paste although the traditional way to make it involves spring onions or shallots, lard and plenty of sugar. Some people like to add coconut milk to dilute the yam paste but ours is firmer. You can still add a splash of coconut milk when serving it though.

In the recipe we are steaming the yam and pumpkin together, for convenience, although the yam has a longer cooking time. Once you can scratch the surface of the yam easily with a fork it is considered cooked. You can use either lard or cooking oil, as you prefer, although lard offers a slightly creamier mouth-feel and more luxurious result, so try that if you have some.

This is a rich, creamy and distinctive dessert offering an incredible flavour. It is very easy to prepare and can satisfy your sweet tooth without being too filling. This is the kind of dessert you have to try to see how good it really is. The yam paste may be kept for up to three days in the fridge or you can freeze it.


  1. yam – 500 g, peeled
  2. pumpkin – 100 g, peeled
  3. spring onions (white part) – 3
  4. oil or lard – 3 tablespoons
  5. white sugar – 100 g
  6. gingko nuts – 8
  7. coconut milk – 100 ml


  1. Slice the yam and pumpkin and put them in a steamer.
  2. Steam them for 20 minutes or until soft.
  3. Mash the yam with a fork or potato masher, adding a little water if that makes it easier.
  4. Alternatively you can puree it in a food processor.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil or lard in a frying pan and stir-fry the spring onions until they are aromatic.
  6. Add the yam paste and sugar and keep cooking and stirring.
  7. You can add some water at this point if the mixture is becoming too sticky.
  8. Transfer the mixture into a greased bowl and smooth it level.
  9. Pour a tablespoon of melted lard or oil on top of the yam paste and steam it for 10 minutes.
  10. Take it off the heat and arrange some gingko nuts and the steamed pumpkins on top before serving.
  11. You can also pour over some coconut milk if you like.
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