A year or so ago, I told my colleague that I would learn from my mum how to make chap chye and pass some over to her. Busy as we all are, I procrastinated until I felt it could not pass into 2010 (how to make someone wait for 2 years for chap chye? So, I decided to make a trip to the Mayflower wet market with my mum so I could learn which ingredients needed to be bought and from where… Its difficult to get this all from any supermarket so a visit to the wet market is a must.
My mum, sis and I chillaxing out at the wet market over laksa, chai tao kueh and fish ball noodles.
Learning the recipe involved more than just the cooking. It meant having breakfast at the market with my mum and sis (who loves to tag along) and spending a lovely morning chatting away. Its something to savour… and somehow if you are mindful, it helps in the cooking process as well. No rushing.
The finished product, a culinary treasure from the Peranakan heritage. It tastes good too.
All the ingredients should be in and none left out but I think the essential ingredients are the prawn head stock and the black fungus. The fungus imparts a nice woody and slightly pungent aroma to the dish.
Here’s a podcast of the recipe as narrated by my mum, I have taken the liberty of adding some music from the starfishstories.wordpress.com. I chose the song Ivan and I wrote for our friends Siva and Airani entitled “The mangrove tree”. I think the song goes well with the dish.
Heat up oil, fry garlic 2 table spoons
Dou chio (ground) – 10 tablespoons
Fry dou chio until wangi
Belly pork cut into small, fry until cooked
Pour in water (half) or stock (prawn head that is fried and boiled in water for 20 mins to make stock)
Put in white cabbage (kobis) cut big pieces
Giam tou kee (dried and long pressed bean curd) rendam for 15 mins or until softer
Sweet tou kee (cut into squares) rinse
Dried Lily buds tie 2 (cut off stalk) rendam (soak in water) for half hour and remove dirt.
Soft black fungus – bok zhee (50 cts worth; its soft). Soak until kembang (pluck out the stem)
Until comes to a boil.
Let it simmer for another hour or so until all is soft and mushy.
This is a picture of the fermented bean paste that I used.