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  • Michelle W.

Not your grandmother’s Orh Nee (Yam paste in a microwave!)

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Don’t tell Ah Ma, this ain’t your regular Orh Nee.

Not your grandmother’s Orh Nee

Been seeing variations of Orh Nee (sweetened yam paste) on the menus of cafes in Singapore, and decided to try my hand at making my own. This recipe uses some lazy millennial twists to create an old school dessert. Traditionally, it uses lard/scallion oil and coconut milk to loosen the mixture. However, I used coconut cream + milk as a substitute because I had that on hand.

Once you learn how to make this basic yam paste, you can let your creativity take over and use it as fillings in pastries, tarts, cakes, mochi... The options are endless.


300g Yam

60g White Sugar

3tbs Vegetable oil

Coconut milk/cream

Milk (optional)

Gingko nuts for garnish


  1. Slice yam into thin slices all around the same size. Place it in a flat layer on a wide plate. Sprinkle water over the yam twice and heat it in a microwave for 5 minutes. I usually cover the yam with a protective microwaveable cover to steam it.

  2. Once out of the microwave, sprinkle on some more water to moisten it and mash. Add sugar and mash until combined.

  3. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the yam mixture. Drizzle in coconut milk until you achieve your desired consistency. I like my Orh Nee smooth, and slightly thick for a satisfying bite.

  4. To serve, scoop your Orh Nee into tea cups. Garnish with gingko nuts and drizzle on more coconut milk for extra flavour. And that’s it!

Some tips:

a) Slice the yams into the same size so that it will cook evenly. b) Mash the yams while they are still hot. Use oven mitts to protect yourself, don’t get burnt.

c) While frying, stir the yam paste until it incorporates all the oil and becomes smooth.

Served in a teacup with Gingko and coconut cream

Cooking the yam in a microwave saves you the trouble of steaming it over a stove. While there is a difference in overall consistency (let’s not lie, traditions stand for a reason!) I still enjoy this cheaters yam paste as a quick fix when craving this wedding dinner dessert. Have fun in the kitchen!



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