Yam Rice (芋头饭)
Yam Rice
Yam Rice pictures (2 of 3)

Yam or taro is a root vegetable that I love to eat. There are quite many ways to make yam (taro)—sweet as in Bubur Cha Cha, sweet yam paste (or nee), or savory as in Yam Rice.

My late parents loved Yam Rice and I am glad that I’d acquired the liking for this dish. In my family, we almost never had yam rice at home so I didn’t know how to make yam rice until my mother-in-law came visit us a few years ago. She taught me how to make this easy one-pot dish and now, I whip it up whenever I am lazy to cook.

In Penang, yam rice is often sold by Yong Tau Foo hawkers and it’s the very reason why I fell in love with it  because I am a huge fan of Yong Tau Foo. Imagine a bowl or two of aromatic yam rice to go with the different varieties of fish balls, fish paste stuffed inside tofu, chili, okra, and more; it’s simply delectable.

Here is my yam rice recipe. If you have an electric rice cooker at home, you will be able to make yam rice rather painlessly. I also made some Yong Tau Foo which I will share the recipe with you soon. My friend Noobcook had just made her version of yam rice with Chinese BBQ pork (char siu), check it out.

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73 comments... read them below or add one

  1. says:

    Hi, I love the new design of this website. Wow!
    The yam rice looks really good. I shall try to make it when my fiance visits me next time :)

  2. says:

    Hi, I love the new design of this website. Wow!
    The yam rice looks really good. I shall try to make it when my fiance visits me next time :)

    By the way, when d you expect your book to be published? Can’t wait to get a copy.

  3. CT says:

    You are making me very hungry. I am waiting for my friend to go for dinner now. I know no matter what I order tonight, it is not going to be as good as the yam rice.

  4. Tuty @Scentofspice says:

    Great minds think alike :-) I just posted a similar dish.. but with some sticky rice too.

    I like your new design, Bee.


  5. Last time, yam rice was not my favorite. But now, it’s my favorite one-pot-dish. A good simple meal after work.

  6. Someone on twitter said this was beautiful. They were right.

  7. Love yam rice, especially with Heh Bee in it.

  8. Yam rice. My late grandma used to cook it for us when we were kids. Nice and authentic recipe. Another great post, Bee :)

  9. eula says:

    mmm i think i will have to try this recipe! taro are my favorite!

  10. pixen says:

    Ok… now ihave to go and hunt for Yam :-) It’s there any particular type of yam… because in the fresh market I found also the small Yam and the usual Large Yam…also they came in 2 colors! I saw once a Purple/Magenta Yam too. Hmm … I think better stick to the usual Light one…don’t want to see my whole Yam Rice turned Purple/Magenta :-D

    Would love to get your cookbook too but how? Am now back in Penang :-( When will you be back then? How to order… Hmm unless your family in Penang willing to stock some copies?

    Thanks for the lovely recipe!

  11. NKOTB says:

    will there be given a special privilledge to the Penang blogger/readers?
    can’t wait to have your cook book.. :)

    • Yes, yes, I would love to invite Penang bloggers to be a part of my blog, that’s a good idea. How about inviting you guys to guest post on Rasa Malaysia and to further introduce our delicious Penang food? No need to cook, can eat out but just introduce the dishes. :)

  12. Rem says:

    I love yam. I love rice. I’ve never thought to combine the two until now. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. noobcook says:

    I love your version with shiitake mushrooms and minced meat. Yours is so beautifully captured. I love YTF very much too, can’t wait to see your recipe for it.

    Thanks for the mention, so sweet of you! I’ve linked back to your recipe as well =)

  14. DailyChef says:

    Your pictures always make ordinary dishes turn into culinary delights. It’s fun to read! I’m not the biggest fan of yams, but I do like yam rice. It’s a fun combination when I’m in the mood, and not overpowering :)

    Also, love the website redesign! We just did one too, which was fun :) Let me know what you think of it.

  15. Oh what a beautiful one-dish meal! I like your addition of using kicap manis, and the crispy shallots on top. :)

  16. tigerfish says:

    Maybe adults love this dish better? Cos’ my father like Yam Rice and they used to cook it once every weekend. It looks exactly like yours – except thinly shredded lean meat is used. I was ok with this dish when I was a kid, not a favorite definitely because I was not a fan of “OR” (芋头), then I would pick out all the yam, pass it to my father while I enjoy the fragrant rice. Heee heeee…
    But now I am an adult, I believe I can enjoy this dish without being too picky and still…love the fragrance….

    Here, we find Yam Rice in some braised duck rice stall but they don’t give so much HO LIAO….:)

  17. Alta says:

    Wow – never had anything like this before, but boy, it looks great! Definitely need to save it for the next time I visit my local Asian market.

  18. Yam rice, nice!, I would cook this whenever the kids got tired of eating plain rice. Thks for the recipe!

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  20. tummythoz says:

    Lurrrrved ‘or-pnui’ with mixed pork soup.

  21. I love anything with yam. This yam rice is something I can never get bored with. It will be heaven to go with some sambal belacan… Your yam rice looks gorgeous!

  22. hungryc says:

    I have never cooked this at home, but I like the famous yam rice in Bukit Mertajam because the yam rice is accompanied with a tasty soup with pig innards and their concoction of dark soya sauce.

  23. Cacho says:

    my guess is that asian dishes are derivatives of each other :) in cebu, philippines we have sinanduloy, very similar to the yam rice description but we use sweet potatoes instead of yam. varieties include the use of coconut milk together with water or plain water by itself. the biggest difference though is that we don’t include meats as part of the dish. love this one and is worth trying out :)

  24. Su-yin says:

    I love yam rice! Always something I eat when I go home. I’ve never actually cooked it with meat (as the ones I’ve eaten only have dried shrimp), but it’s a good idea. Will have to try adding that in next time.

    P.S loving the new design!

  25. Lynn says:

    oh, I’m so hungry after looking at your pictures!

  26. J2Kfm says:

    I was introduced to yam rice back in Penang as well. Had them with Bak Kut Teh, and Yong Tau Foo. I know one of the better place for yam rice is in BM, right?
    And there’s one coffee shop in Klang, named Tien Chuan that serves delightful yam rice. But its different than the usual. You must try this if you’re ever in Klang.

  27. J2Kfm says:

    I was introduced to yam rice back in Penang as well. Had them with Bak Kut Teh, and Yong Tau Foo. I know one of the better place for yam rice is in BM, right?
    And there’s one coffee shop in Klang, named Tien Chuan that serves delightful yam rice. But its different than the usual. You must try this if you’re ever in Klang.

  28. I am always amazed to find interesting recipies here with ingredients that are very familiar to me but made in unfamiliar ways

  29. eula says:

    i made this today. tasted sooo good. the only thing was that i think it needs a bit more water for the rice to fully cook. perhaps i added a bit more taro than called for but i love taro!

  30. Jeune says:

    Finally! A recipe where the ingredients are the mainstays in my refrigerator. I love it. :D

  31. ming says:

    is it 3 and half cup rice or one and a half cup of rice?

    • 3 1/2 cup rice cup (the small one that comes with rice cooker).

      • Tina says:

        Hi, can you give us the weight of the rice used and the quantity of water (ml)? My rice cooker didn’t come with different size cups. Thanks… looking forward to try this as just so happens I have some yam!

  32. prisca says:

    Hi, do u need to steam the taro first? i tried cooking once like that but the taro is still really hard..

  33. Carly says:

    Dear Nyonya Food.
    I am so lucky to find your website. Every receipt inside there . they are so great. To-night we will have Yam Rice for dinner. looking forward for that. Thanks so much! Have a good day.

  34. Sounds (and looks) delicious. I must give it a try. I love eating yam as well but have never tried yam rice. I look forward to your yong tau fu recipe too….one of the things I miss from the year I spent in Singapore.

  35. Mei says:

    I love yam rice. I would like to suggest a slight variation: I use squash/pumpkin cubes instead of taro, which is difficult to find and expensive in the UK. I stir fry the squash cubes until soft first and set them aside, adding them back into the pot 10 minutes before the rice is fully cooked. The squash adds a sweetness to the rice that I don’t get from yam ^^

  36. annie says:

    Aloha Bee

    You’d be proud that I tried making both the yam rice and chai buey this morning and they came out great. Thanks for sharing your recipes with us.

  37. Jasmine says:

    I have a question regarding adding water to the rice. After stir-frying the rice with the other ingredients in the wok and transferring everything to the rice cooker, do I need to add anymore water? Do I just start the rice cooker as it is? Thanks.

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  39. Thomas says:

    I tried making this recipe but it didnt really turn out fine. The sauce in the wok tastes fantastic, but the problem starts when I start to cook the rice. The water seems too little to cook that big amount of rice (3 and a half cup). When I transfer the rice and the sauce into the rice cooker, you can barely see the sauce covering the rice, which already seems to me a bit problematic as the usual way of cooking rice is to have water covering the rice.

    And in less than 10 min of cooking, the rice cooker switch jumped to ‘keep warm’, with not much sauce left and the rice still very uncooked. I have to keep adding water and it still doesnt cook well. In the end I have to separate the rice into half and add more water to cook it. The flavour has been thinned out so much I have to add more soy sauce to it.

    Can you please confirm the amount of rice and water are correct as in recipe? Thanks.

    • The amount of water is right as I measured my ingredients precisely. The water was above the rice level when I put it into the rice cooker. Your rice might be an old crop that absorbs water faster and requires more water. I use “new crop” rice. Different rice cooker also tends to cook differently…

    • By the way, what type of cup do you use? I use a small rice cup that comes with the rice cooker:

      • Thomas says:

        It is a similar cup I used too that comes with the rice cooker. Is the 2 cup of water from the same cup too? It’s just that from my usual rice-cooking rule, always use at least 1:1 ratio for rice and water. So when I read this recipe that says 3.5:2 rice:water I was a bit sceptical. Not to mention when you add the water to the ingredient in the wok, some water will already be absorbed before the rice is added in. I still think this is a great recipe from the flavour of the sauce, just that next time I will add in much less rice thats just enough to be covered by the sauce.

  40. JennyHow says:

    nice!!!!!!! love yam rice! but how many persons do this recipe served? would appreciate that information in other recipes as well so that i know if i’m cooking for the family or for myself.

  41. Barbara J says:

    I’ll be cooking the yam rice for lunch tomorrow, wish me luck! :) Since I cook for one, what is your take on freezing extra yam rice? Is it done?


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  43. Silvia says:

    It looks delicious. Definetely, it is worth a try.

  44. lauren says:

    hi Bee,

    i made the yam rice last night and it was delicious. my mum used to cook this for me growing up. thank you for sharing this recipe.

  45. Eliza says:

    My mum cook this before , another suggestion is that can be pumpkin rice as well, it’s nice!

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  47. okunade oluwagade says:

    Just stumble on this cause i want to carry out a research work on yam in malaysia, i’m happy seeing lovely delicacy made with yam in Asian country. you’re doing a good job. The yam rice looks good& the design on your web page is nice. i wish to try it here in Nigeria. thanks you’re doing a great job.

  48. Jayne says:

    I’m making this tonight for my family but don’t own a big rice cooker. Hopefully it will be as good cooked on stove top. My yams are waiting!

  49. stephanie says:

    hello i would like to try this recipe. i have a rice cooker but don’t have the cup. would you please tell me what is the volume of this small cup that you use? thank you

  50. Jennifer lean says:

    Can I use clay pot instead of rice cooker ?? Will there be changes in water measurement ??

  51. Hi, when i was in Daman Sara Malaysia a couple of years ago i sampled some delicious yam deserts. They were of pastel colours, small rectangular shape, made with yam, they were slightly sweet and chewy. Do you have a recipe for these please?

  52. Katerine says:

    Nice of course and good for family food. But I prefer do it with grill ingredients made in Redmond 4502 multicooker, with it the meal can be served on holidays. It is very handy!

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