Pumpkin Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts (白果金瓜芋泥)

I am in search of my Chinese/Teochew roots. This weekend, I decided to try an authentic Teochew dessert Pumpkin Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts (金瓜芋泥) – more aptly called Au Nee in Teochew. We always had this dessert at the end of a meal at Teochew restaurants. It is tough to find a Teochew restaurant here in the bay area; even tougher to find Au Nee cooked the Teochew way. So I have to find it in my own kitchen. It is really not difficult to prepare and when you make it yourself, you can adjust the sweetness exactly to your liking. It is also very fragrant and flavorful when fried in shallot oil. So glad I tried, its another recipe worthy of a trip down the memory lane.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes


Gingko Nuts

  • 170g gingko nuts (buy them peeled in shrink-wrapped package from chinese grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup water (for simple syrup)


  • 300g pumpkin
  • 150g sugar + 1/8 cup water (for cooking pumpkin)

Yam paste

  • 600g Yam (Taro root)
  • 8 Tbsp sugar (for blending yam paste)
  • 4 Tbps canola oil (for blending yam paste)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil (for frying shallots)
  • 5 oz coconut milk


Prepare Gingko Nuts

  1. Wash and drain ginko nuts. Split in half and remove the fibrous stem.
  2. Boil in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare simple syrup by dissolving 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of water in a small sauce pan.
  4. Add the drained gingko nuts and boil over medium low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Set aside.

Prepare pumpkin cubes

  1. Remove the skin and seeds from the pumpkin and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Dissolve sugar with 1/8 cup water for cooking pumpkin in a small sauce pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add the cubed pumpkin and cook until the pumpkin is softened but not mushy. About 15 minutes.
  4. Set aside.

Prepare Yam Paste

  1. Peel yam and cut into thin slices.
  2. Steam yam slices over high heat until completely softened. About 15 minutes.
  3. While the yam is still hot, transfer steamed yam into a food processor. Add the canola oil and sugar and blend on high speed until yam paste is smooth. Depending on the size of your food processor, you might want to prepare in two separate batches as the yam paste quickly turn into a heavy yam ball when cooled and its difficult to blend.
  4. Heat oil for frying shallot in a large wok over medium high heat. Add shallot and fry until the shallots start to turn golden brown. Transfer shallots to a plate lined with a paper towel. The shallots become crispy as it cools.
  5. Transfer the blended yam paste to the wok and fry in shallot oil over medium heat until the oil is blended with the paste. Add the coconut milk and continue to fold/stir until the coconut milk is incorporated with the yam paste. Add the cooled shallots and continue to fold/fry until  the shallots is blended into the paste. Set aside.

To Serve

  1. Scoop desired amount of yam paste into serving dish.
  2. Top with cooked pumpkin cubes and gingko nuts.
  3. Drizzle additional syrup from pumpkin/gingko nuts  over the yam according to desired sweetness.
  4. Serve the dish hot.

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