p Picks and Pecks: recipe: chap chye

Saturday, April 27, 2013

recipe: chap chye

Caught up in all the busy-ness of Chinese New Year, we almost forgot to make chap chye - a vegetarian dish that is typically served on the first day of the New Year, when some avoid eating meat. (Clearly this wasn't the case for me!). 

But chap chye is always a good, light antidote after all the heavy eating during the holiday season. Despite it being vegetarian, it is very substantial and I really do not miss the protein in this one pot dish.

This time, we kept the main ingredients very simple:

  • small white cabbage
  • wood-ear fungus
  • dried lily bulbs - rinsed and tied with a knot in the middle
  • dried bean curd sheets or fu chok - rinsed and torn into small pieces
  • tang hoon or glass noodles

Additional ingredients are half a clove of garlic and some fermented bean curd, which was stir-fried in hot oil before the lily bulbs, cabbage and fungus were added. While the vegetables cooked and softened, the liquid from the cabbage and fungus will seep out, creating a stock. Once that happens, add in the glass noodles and the dried bean curd, which need the moisture from the veggies to soften. Depending on the amount of water which is released, you might need to add some hot water if the noodles do not get softened enough.

Cooking time for this dish took only about 20 minutes - ideal for a light lunch. 

Other substitutions/additional ingredients include:
  • chinese/napa cabbage in place of white cabbage
  • dried shitake mushrooms - pre-soaked, with stems removed
  • carrots
  • black moss