Wednesday, 12 February 2014

#ewew cooks "Loh Hon Chai" (Mixed Vegetables with "Nam Yue")

"Loh Hon Chai" (Mixed Vegetables with "Nam Yue") is a popular vegetarian dish that is consumed during Chinese New Year and, this year, I made this for my family as well as my in-laws' families.

The main ingredient in this dish is the fermented red bean curd and there are many different types/brands in the market.  The final outcome of this dish, in terms of taste, depends highly on the quality of the fermented red bean curd that you use.
1/4 (400g) "pak choy" (Chinese cabbage)
1/4 carrot (about 15 thin slices)
4 dried Chinese mushrooms
1/2 can (about 6 - 7 pcs) large button mushrooms
1 - 2 pcs dried wood ear fungus
5 pcs "tau fu pok" (fried bean curd puffs)
1/2 pc dried "fu chuk" (bean curd sheet)
50g of "toong fun" (glass noodles)
2 pcs "nam yue" (fermented red bean curd) + 2 tablespoon of the liquid
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp oil
2/3 - 1 cup water


Cut "pak choy" into 2-inch strips.

Peel carrot and cut into thin slices.
Soak dried mushrooms in water until soft and cut into thick slices.
Drain button mushrooms and cut into halves.
Soak dried wood ear fungus until soft.  Discard the hard parts and slice into pieces.
Cut "tau fu pok" into halves or triangles.
Mash 2 - 3 pcs of "nam yue" (depending on the size of your nam yue cube), together with the liquid, into a paste. 


Blanch "pak choy" and carrot in boiling water for about 1 - 2 minutes.  Dish up and drain.  In the same pot of boiling water, blanch the "toong fun" until just translucent.  Drain and discard water.

Break up the dried "fu chuk" into small pieces and deep fry in hot oil.  As soon as the "fu chuk" puffs up (or when bubbles appear on the "fu chuk"), take it out.  You have to be super fast as the "fu chuk" is done in, literally, one second.  [#Tip: I drop it, one piece at a time, into oil (with a pair of chopsticks) so that I can take it out fast enough without it getting burnt.]

Put 2 tablespoons of oil into your frying pan or wok.  Add the garlic and saute for a couple of seconds and then add the mashed "nam yue". 

Add Chinese mushrooms, button mushrooms, wood ear fungus and "tau fu pok".  Stir fry for a while and then add 2/3 cup water.

Next, throw in the fried "fu chuk" and "toong fun" into the liquid and let it soften. 

Then, add the blanched "pak choy" and carrot.  Add more water if the liquid dries up.

Mix all the vegetables together for another 1 - 2 minutes.  There is no necessity to add salt as the "nam yue" brings saltiness to the dish (so add more or less depending on how salty your "nam yue" is).

Dish up and serve.  [#Note: This is my version of "Loh Hon Chai with Nam Yue".  The other version (with slightly different ingredients) is done without "nam yue".]

Serves 4 - 6.  This is best eaten with plain rice.

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