The vegetarian recipe for ‘Taro Abacus Beads’:

servings – 8 to 10


  • 600 g taro (peel, cut into chunks, steam till soft and mash)
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms (soak in hot water till soft and slice)
  • 1 cup vegetarian barbecued meat (defrost and slice)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 cups water


  • 4 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder


Taro Abacus Beads

  • While the mashed taro is still hot, combine immediately with tapioca starch (1 cup) and knead to form a smooth dough.
  • Divide the dough into 2cm balls, form thick beads and press a dent in the center of each taro bead.
  • Place them in boiling water, boil over medium heat and gently stir till they float to the surface.
  • Dish out and put them in a pot of cold water.


  • Heat oil, stir-fry shiitake mushrooms till fragrant.
  • Add vegetarian barbecued meat, vegetarian oyster sauce and dark soy sauce; stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
  • Add water and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add taro beads and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Mix tapioca starch (1 tbsp) and sugar with some water; gently pour the mixture into the pan and stir evenly.
  • Add sesame oil, white pepper powder and coriander leaves; stir well.
  • Dish out, place in a deep serving plate and serve.