Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts and Pumpkin
500g pumpkin, peel and cut into cubes 8 tbsp + 10 tbsp sugar 400g pork fat, cut into cubes 6-8 shallots, with skin 2 pandan leaves 700g Thai yam, peel and slice 100g canned gingko nuts 2 tbsp cornflour 4-5 tbsp water
1. Mix pumpkin with 8 tbsp sugar and let cure overnight. 2. In a non-stick deep frying pan over medium heat, stir-fry pork fat and shallots until fat starts to render. Lower heat and cook until pork fat is crisp and golden brown. Remove and discard shallots. Set crisp fat aside and measure out about 125ml rendered lard for cooking yam. Set aside. 3. Place cured pumpkin with its sugar marinade on a steaming tray and steam for 20–30 mins until pumpkin is soft. Drain syrup and mash pumpkin. Set aside. 4. Cut pandan leaves and place between slices of yam in a steamer. Steam for 20–30 mins until yam is soft. Discard pandan leaves and mash yam. Set aside. 5. Heat lard in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add mashed yam and 10 tbsp sugar. Stir continuously for 30 mins. Check for sweetness and adjust with more sugar if necessary. Set aside. 6. Meanwhile, measure syrup resulting from steaming pumpkin and dilute with twice as much water. Bring to the boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Mix cornflour with water and add to syrup. Stir until thickened. 7. Spoon yam paste into individual serving bowls and top with gingko nuts and mashed pumpkin. Drizzle with thickened syrup and serve hot.