food 4 tots

Nagaimo and shrimp paste

nagaimo, shrimp, prawn, yam, steaming, recipe for toddlers


Source: own concoction (idea from a cookbook called All about Steaming by GIPH Media Pte Ltd)

150g shrimps (net weight)nagaimo, yam, huai san, Chinese
2 pcs medium sized water chestnut (approx. 40g) – chopped
2 tbsp chopped carrots – refer to note 1
2 tbsp coriander leaves – use the leaves part, chopped finely
200g nagaimo (fresh huai san)
Handful of wolfberries  for garnishing (optional)

Seasonings A (for shrimp paste):
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp shallot / garlic oil
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
Dash of pepper and sesame oil

Seasonings B (for gravy):shrimp paste
150ml stock (mix 150ml water with 2 tsp Maggi chicken concentrated stock)
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
Dash of pepper and sesame oil
Cornstarch solution (mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water)

Some cornstarch for dusting


  1. For shrimps, peel, devein and rinse under a running tap and pat dry with kitchen towel. Smash shrimps with the back of a knife and chop coarsely.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (prawns, water chestnuts, carrots and coriander leaves) and seasonings A. Stir in one direction until well combined. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Soak nagaimo in a vinegar diluted water for 1 minute. Peel and cut into slices (about ½ inch thickness). Place on a steaming tray, sprinkle a little bit of salt and steam for 2-3 minutes (for softer yam, steam 5-8 minutes). Use a small spoon to scoop out some nagaimo from its centre. Use a tea strainer, dust the centre with cornstarch. (refer to note 2 and 3)
  4. Combine the extra nagaimo in step (3) with the marinated shrimp paste in step (2) and mix well. Scoop 1 tbsp of the mixture. Wet your hands and roll into a ball. Place on the indent at the centre of the nagaimo. Press the mixture slightly so that it will stick to the nagaimo (refer to note 4). Add wolfberries as garnishing.
  5. Arrange items in step (4) on a steaming tray. Bring water to a boil and steam under high heat for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Bring seasonings B to a boil. Let it simmer for a while until it is slightly thicken. Adjust seasoning if needed. Pour over item in step (5). (refer to note 5 and 6)
  7. Best to serve with rice.


  1. If you don’t have carrots, substitute the amount with water chestnuts.
  2. Wear a pair of kitchen gloves when handling nagaimo as it may cause irritation to the skin.
  3. If you don’t have a tea strainer, use your finger tips to sprinkle the cornstarch powder.
  4. The marinated shrimp paste is used to balance the bland nagaimo. So the shrimp paste must be equal or slightly more than the nagaimo. As nagaimo comes in different size, so use your own judgement to decide the size of the shrimp mixture. If nagaimo slice is big, then flatten slightly the shrimp mixture instead of making a full size ball shape.
  5. You can prepare this gravy before steaming and add 1-2 tbsp onto the steaming tray. So, it can absorb into the nagaimo during steaming.
  6. You may not need to pour all the gravy onto the dish during serving. Just use half of it and keep it aside. Add extra if needed.
  7. You can substitute nagaimo with tofu/ egg tofu.

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  1. Hope you will recover very soon. This dish sound really healthy and yummy!

  2. gertrude says:

    I love this root vegetable. All I used it for is soup. Great idea to steam it too. Do you have problem peeling it. I find it too slimy to peel and I will have to hold it with paper towel 🙂

    • food-4tots says:

      Gertrude: Yes, if you use bare hands. Usually I wear a pair of kitchen gloves to hold the nagaimo. Maybe soaking it in vinegar diluted water will help too. 😉

  3. Alice says:

    I love fresh huai san soup! This recipe is awesome and can’t wait to try it out! 😀

    • food-4tots says:

      Alice: Thanks! Nagaimo is a very versatile vegetable. Do check out those recipes in the link. Maybe it will give you more ideas to create your own dish. 😉

  4. Christine says:

    Hope your elbow is all better now… beautiful photos! Doubt I can find this vegetable in Australia but good to learn more about new varieties!

  5. mycookinghut says:

    I have never heard of nagaimo.. nor use in my cooking. I love this dish that is so pretty and full of goodness!

  6. tigerfish says:

    How I enjoy nagaimo….tried stir-frying and in soup before…ok…steaming next 🙂

    It is hot here too but not so humid. Luckily.

    • food-4tots says:

      Tigerfish: I got to try the stir-fry method too. The weather here is so unpredictable. Today it rained heavy in the morning and flash flood everywhere. 🙁

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andy Dinsmore, Low Lai Kuan. Low Lai Kuan said: New post! Nagaimo and shrimp paste – a healthy and delicious dish for the family! […]

  8. Joanne says:

    It’s too bad you couldn’t give up housework instead of blogging! I’m glad you’re feeling better though! I love nagaimo…especially the way you prepared it here!

    • food-4tots says:

      Joanne: I don’t have maid or back-up so there is no way to avoid houseworks (can minimise it only). That’s the life of a stay at home mom! LOL! Thanks for your sweet comment. 😉

  9. anncoo says:

    I must bookmark this as your dishes always look so perfect and delicious.
    Take care and have a nice weekend.

  10. LCOM says:

    Beautiful dish! This is really healthy but my hubby and girls are not so into it.

    • food-4tots says:

      LCOM: Thanks! You can cook/ eat Nagaimo in many ways. Take a look at the link I provided to get some ideas on how to create your own favourite dish using Nagaimo. 😉

  11. Hope you’re getting well soon.
    I seldom see any fresh Japanese mountain yam here, just the dried, imported ones. I like to cook them in Chinese soups, very healthy.

  12. Beautiful dish! Your hubby is right … the presentation is absolutely CLASSY! Love it. Hope you are well.

  13. peachkins says:

    very interesting..I don’t think I’ve had nagaimo yet..

  14. Meldylocks says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing this! I learnt a lot and love your blog!!

  15. Very nutritious, healthy and yummy! A simple but very beautiful presentation.

  16. NKOTB says:

    Hope you’re feeling better though 90% recovery, you still gotta be extra careful too. 🙂

  17. Glad to hear that you are getting better! The presentation is beautiful!

  18. By the time of reading this, hope you are 100% recovered : ).
    I think you have turned the healthy yam, which is supposed to be bland in taste, into an appetizing food.

    • food-4tots says:

      TasteHongKong: Thanks for your kind concern. Still not 100% recovered yet. 🙁 Yeah, this recipe is a better way for those who dislike its bland taste. 😉

  19. Oh dear, hope you recover soon!

  20. Wow! Your presentation and food looks so gourmet like. I feel like I am in a fine dining restaurant! Lovely! Btw, the summer heat is killing me here but I guess I should be happy it is not humid.

  21. Little Inbox says:

    Hope you’ll have a speedy recovery. So coincident, I plan to cook this too, but can’t find wai san in the market. 🙁
    NVM, I’ll try it out next time. I learned it from a cooking show.

    • food-4tots says:

      Little Inbox: Have you tried to look for it at Jaya Jusco? Sourcing ingredients is also another headache to me. Quite frustrating sometimes. 😉

  22. Anh says:

    Such a lovely recipe. We don’t have this kind of tube veg here though 🙁

  23. Dora says:

    Interesting combination.

    Have only tried Nagaimo in soups…

  24. LK: It looks amazing! Immediately made me think of Taste Paradise =) And you always use the most interesting veggies!

  25. Your husband is right–you’ve presented it beautifully! Sounds like a lovely dish.

    Hope you’re completely recovered soon!

  26. jo says:

    Hope you are better now. I must say that this dish looks so gorgeous – I’m staring at it non-stop. I love the presentation and the photos are absolutely beautiful.

  27. sweetlife says:

    I hope you feel better, great recipe…lovely presentation as always , I love learning abut new foods, nagaimo sounds wonderful


  28. noobcook says:

    This looks like a super healthy and delicious dish. Love the close up shots. Hope your elbow is full recovered by now =)

    • food-4tots says:

      Noobcook: Thanks for your sweet comments! Unfortunately my elbow is still not fully recovered yet. Wiffy, I highly recommend you to give it a try since you can easily find nagaimo in Singapore. 😉

  29. baobabs says:

    This looks amazing. I eat alot of shanyao here in Beijing because it’s ‘good for health’ but I don’t like that sticky texture when eating them raw. The restaurants always serve them like mash potato and it’s got the same sticky consistency of lady’s finger… a vegetable that I really like.. but with shanyao. WIll have a go at this dish!

    Hope your injury has recovered and you can be back in the kitchen!

    • food-4tots says:

      Baobabs: Thanks for your kind comments! I do hope I can recover soon so that I can bake some bread. Serrve them like mash potato? Sounds interesting? Got to give it a try next time. Thanks for the idea! 😉

  30. Carolyn Jung says:

    This is beyond gorgeous. I feel like I should don pearls and opera gloves to even stare at these photos. 😉

  31. Hi! Chanced upon your blog and enjoying my stay here reading your postings and beautiful shots.
    Very classy presentation for home-cook dish. Looks healthy and nice!

  32. lim so ngo says:

    i grew up with this (dried) root vegetable as Grandma used in medicinal soup with chicken.
    I stir fried with homemade fish cake, carrot
    and some Shitake mushroom with this fresh
    Japanese imported Ngaimu as a side dish…or
    add together with other fruits to make juice,very refrshing! I also slice thinily
    add into my Miso soup..Good for menopause ladies as it is believed as a hormone replacement chinese medical journals.

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