South East Asian Food
3 as a single dish


Quantity Ingredient
30g dried lily buds
25g dried beancurd sheet, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, (you can use instead 25 g dried beancurd twists but because they are much more solid, they must be soaked overnight, and take longer to cook)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon chinese wine or sherry
salt, to taste
pinch pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 very thin slices fresh ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons brown or yellow soya bean paste
or 1 tablespoon soya sauce
250g sliced pork or beef or shelled prawns or pork liver, (optional)
250g wedge cabbage, roughly cut
25g chinese mushrooms, soaked in warm water and hard stems removed, sliced
15g cloud-ear fungus
100g bamboo shoots, sliced
50g chinese vermicelli, soaked for 20 minutes in cold water and then cut into 4 cm lengths
3 spring onions with green tops, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. If you have the patience, tie a knot in the middle of each lily bud. This will stop the vegetable from breaking up as it cooks, and will keep the texture as it should be. Cut the soaked beancurd into 3 x 4 cm pieces. Mix the water, cornflour, sherry, soya sauce (if you are using it) and salt and pepper into a seasoning mixture and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Add the ginger and fry until light brown then the bean paste and stir-fry a little. If you have used meat or twisted beancurd add it now and stir-fry until the meat changes colour. Throw in the cabbage, mushrooms and cloud-ear fungus, and stir-fry. Add the lily buds and bamboo shoots and stir until everything is lightly cooked (the cabbage should be cooked but still crisp). Add the beancurd sheet and the vermicelli last as these both tend to stick to the pan. Put in the seasoning mixture and stir until everything is done, adding more water if you need to, although the dish should not be too wet.
  3. Just before lifting off the heat, sprinkle with the spring onions. After taking the pan off the stove, stir in the sesame oil, and serve.
  4. For a vegetarian version, Chap-chye may be cooked without the meat. To make it more substantial, serve with a ‘coin-purse’ egg on top of each portion or, alternatively, some cubes of the spiced beancurd. To make ‘coin-purse’ eggs, break a whole egg into hot oil in a frying pan and fry until fluffy and cooked to the degree desired.
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