Cook’s Nook: Amy Beh cooks 3 auspicious CNY dishes

  • Food
  • Sunday, 20 Jan 2019

Prosperity All Year Round

CNY is just around the corner, and these auspicious dishes guarantee happy family meals (and full tummies).


(Braised dried oysters, mushrooms and abalone)

10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed and soaked till soft (reserve soaking water)

10g pork belly

1 tsp cooking oil

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tsp chopped ginger

6 dried oysters, soaked briefly for 10 minutes

2 tbsp light soya sauce

4 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp abalone oyster sauce

200ml chicken stock

salt, sugar and pepper to taste

100g carrot, cut into desired shapes

6 broccoli florets

6 cauliflower florets

1 stalk spring onion

3 slices ginger

5g dried sea moss (fatt choy)

1 can abalone (well drained and sliced)

sesame oil to taste

1 tsp cornflour + 2 tbsp water

Drain soaked mushrooms well and retain the soaking stock.

Place belly pork in a heated saucepan and add cooking oil. Add chopped garlic and ginger. Stir-fry briefly, and add soaked mushrooms and dried oysters. As you fry, add in light soya sauce and 2 tablespoons of Shaoxing cooking wine. Allow to sizzle briefly. Pour in soaked mushroom stock, oyster sauce, abalone oyster sauce, chicken stock and salt, sugar and pepper to taste and cook to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.

Blanch carrot, broccoli and cauliflower florets in salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Dish out and soak in a basin of iced water. Set aside.

In a pot, boil water with spring onion and ginger. Add the sea moss and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Dish out and drain on a metal wire sieve. Set aside. Add canned abalone slices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes briefly. After this, remove all the ingredients, leaving only the gravy in the stockpot. Add 2 tablespoons of Shaoxing cooking wine and sesame oil followed by cornflour and water mixture and stir to combine.

Arrange the ingredients on a plate and ladle the gravy over the mixture. Serve immediately.


For the salted egg yolk beancurd

1 block beancurd, well drained

30g rice flour

60g Hong Kong flour

60g cornflour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp chicken stock powder

2 tbsp salted egg yolk powder

1 stalk curry leaves

1 bird’s eye chillies, chopped

Cut beancurd into cubes and blot with several pieces of kitchen towels. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder, pepper, chicken stock powder and salted egg yolk powder well together. Coat beancurd cubes thoroughly in this batter, then deep fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Dish out and drain.

Leave 2 to 3 tablespoons hot oil in the wok and fry curry leaves and bird’s eye chillies till fragrant and crispy. Dish out and scatter over beancurd pieces.

For the salted egg yolk prawns

200g large prawns, shelled and deveined

1 egg, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp tapioca flour

2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp chopped bird’s eye chilli

2 sprigs curry leaves

3 salted egg yolks, steamed and mashed

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

Marinate prawns with egg, salt, pepper, olive oil and tapioca flour. Deep-fry marinated prawns till cooked and crispy. Dish out.

Heat oil in a wok, add bird’s eye chillies and curry leaves. Stir briefly then add mashed salted egg yolks and stir until bubbly. Add in prawns, salt to taste and spring onions. Toss and fry till well combined. Dish out.

For the salted egg yolk mushrooms

2 pieces eryngii mushrooms

1 egg, lightly beaten

50g cornflour

1 tbsp potato starch

2 to 3 tbsp margarine

1 tbsp dried prawns, soaked and chopped

1 sprig curry leaves

1 tsp chopped bird’s eye chilies

3 salted egg yolks, steamed and mashed

1 tbsp mayonnaise

salt, sugar and pepper to taste

1 tsp chicken stock powder

Cut eryngii mushrooms into triangular pieces. Dip in beaten egg then coat with cornflour and potato starch. Deep-fry in hot oil till crispy. Dish out and drain.

Heat margarine in a non-stick pan. Sauté dried prawns, curry leaves and bird’s eye chillies till fragrant. Add mashed salted egg yolks. Stir until mixture turns sandy.

Add mayonnaise, salt, sugar, pepper and chicken stock powder, followed by fried eryngii mushrooms. Toss and fry till well mixed.


For steaming the fish

600g red grouper

3 stalks lemongrass, smashed

2 stalks spring onion

3 slices ginger

1 stalk coriander, chopped

1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves, for placing on the side of fish

For the tangy sauce

250 ml chicken broth

10g soft brown sugar

20g rock sugar

60g smoked garlic, coarsely chopped

5 bird’s eye chillies, chopped

2 tbsp fish sauce

7 to 8 limes, juiced

extra coriander leaves, for garnish

sesame oil to taste

Score and clean fish well. Make 2 light slanting cuts on each side of fish. Lightly rub a little salt and pepper on both sides of fish.

Push the stalks of lemongrass on the belly part of the fish. Place spring onion and ginger on the base of the steaming plate. Arrange the coriander by the side of the fish. Steam fish for about 12 to 15 minutes or till the eyes pop out. Transfer fish onto a clean serving plate and place some coriander leaves by the side.

In a sauce pot, bring chicken broth to a gentle boil. Add both types of sugars. Stir till sugars have dissolved. Add in garlic and bird’s eye chilies. Add fish sauce and lime juice and cook to a light boil.

Remove pot from the heat and add coriander leaves and sesame oil. Pour the hot tangy sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

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