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Recipe – Hakka Yi Zi Ban (忆子粄)

Recipe – Hakka Yi Zi Ban (忆子粄)

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Dough skin
1/2 Thai Yam
0.5kg glutinous rice flour
3 tbsp vegetable oil
60g dried prawns soak till soft
4 garlic minced
40g dried black fungus shredded
8 shiitake mushrooms shredded
1 beancurd (tau kwa) cubed
4 shallots minced
1 tbsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce

Yi Zi Ban (忆子粄) is a traditional Hakka dish. Here's a step-by-step recipe.

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Previously, I have shared my aunty’s hakka abacus seed recipe. Today, it’s another hakka recipe which I learnt from her – Yi Zi Ban (忆子粄). This traditional kueh was made by a mother during the olden days to remember her son when he went on an expedition overseas. This is a dish that signifies reunion, so try making it at home with your family!

Typically the rice cake is only made with glutinous rice flour, but we added some yam to the to give it a light fragrance. It is wrapped with a filling of meat, beancurd, dried shrimp, black fungus and mushroom. If you have eaten them before, you will know that it requires alot of manual labour and patience. ENJOY!



Wash Leaf

Wash the banana leaves and oil them to prevent sticking to each other.


Cook Filling

To make the filling, heat the oil in a hot wok. Fry garlic, shallots and dried prawns. Add other ingredients and fry for 1min over medium heat. Season and remove from heat.


Shred and Steam

Shred yam and steam over high heat till soft, 15 minutes. Add glutinous rice flour and salt. Mash and knead until the yam is completely combined with the starch (when it no longer feels sticky to the touch). Roll to a long dough, cut into 2cm-thick slices and roll each slice into a ball.



Place 1 tbsp of filling on the skin and fold it into a ball. Seal by placing the kueh on banana leaf. Fold the corners down and flatten the rounded kueh onto to a flat surface.



Steam for 15min. Serve with sweet dark sauce or chilli sauce.


Born into a family of enthusiastic foodies, Maureen has always loved all things culinary, especially the local cuisine here in Singapore. With a life-long fascination with the rapidly evolving food scene in Singapore, she started this website in 2007 to explore and celebrate all types of local Singapore dishes and to share her love of travel and food with the world. With 4 years of experience as a journalist and producer, she has a wealth of experience in food writing, photography and styling.

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One Comment Hide Comments

Wah so troublesome but thanks for sharing . I normally buy from the stall in toa payoh hawker center but that lady is kinda very old and closes the shop by about 1 pm… Gonna be a lost art

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