I love this dessert, and managed to get a recipe from a cook book my sister owned when I was about 18 years old. It has become a dessert I make at almost every gathering at my house.

When the kids were younger, we had at least five parties in our house every year: one for each kids’ birthday, and then a gathering for my husband’s gathering and one for my own friends. We would have about 50 guests and I would cook five to ten dishes. The dessert has to be simple, and this cuts it. It does not take more than 20 minutes to cook this, and it tastes better than what the restaurants serve. Promise!

To make good Or Nee, since most of the ingredient is the yam or taro, you need to choose the best yam possible. To choose a good yam, look where the yam is harvested. The purple dots should be distinct and clear. If your yam or taro is not good, the yam will never seem to cook.

Or Nee (Teochew Yam Dessert)

Or Nee (Teochew Yam Dessert)


500g Yam (skinned, steamed and mashed)

100g Sugar (your favourite kind, I used light brown)

50g Pork lard

1 Tbsp Oil

1 Small Onion or 4 Shallots (skinned and thinly sliced)


200g Gingko nuts (I used frozen ones)

100g Rock Sugar

1 cup Water

A bunch Pandan leaves (optional)


    Yam Paste
  1. Steam the yam and mash it when it is still hot, then add the sugar.
  2. Heat a pan with the oil and fry the lard.
  3. Remove the lard and use the oil to fry the shallots or onions at low heat.
  4. When the onions turn light brown, add the yam paste and stir through, incorporating the lard oil.
  5. Place a cling film onto the yam paste to ensure moisture does not escape from it.
  6. Syrup
  7. Add the rock sugar to the syrup and when the sugar has dissolved, add the gingko nuts.
  8. Boil at medium heat until a syrup of a desired consistency is achieved.
  9. Keep the gingko nuts soaked in the syrup as long as possible, overnight if possible.
  10. Serve
  11. Serve hot, with the syrup over the yam paste.

The pictures compiled into a video for easier viewing:

*Disclaimer: I have not taken a photograph of the final product though I had them in stages. So the feature picture is one from the internet. When I make this again, I will replace it with one that is taken of the version I made.