Look is deceiving– this speaks so well for this wonderful vegetable dish. Everyone, including myself, who first look at this dish will think that there’s nothing special about it, but after the first bite then there’s the treasure. My sifu Aunty Wang brought this dish for our CNY potluck, I love it so much that I decided buy the ingredients and make it that weekend. Richard told me that when he saw the food he thought it is made of all kinds of yucky veggie leftovers, but then he was hooked after the first bite. This dish is best eaten at cold or room temperature as you can really taste the different flavors– and that is why I can eat it 3 days straight and still don’t get tired of it, because each type of vegetable has its unique flavor, and all the flavors go very well together.
According to Aunty Wang, this is a typical Shanghai CNY dish. Chinese is very particular about new year food. Combo in Mandarin is called ‘Shi Jin’– sounds like ten ‘Shi’, and thus the name is called Ten-Veggie Stir Fry. Of course, you don’t have to include all ten ingredients. You can also substitute one for the other like shredded tofu puffs, preserved sweet turnip etc…, but avoid using vegetable that has high liquid content or draws out liquid over time like bell peppers, black fungus etc… so the food can be kept longer in the fridge without turning slimy or watery.
Ten-Veggie Combo Recipe
*4 pcs five-spiced tofu–slice each piece horizontally then cut into thin strips
*1 cup dry lily flower ‘jin zhen chai’– soaked till soft, then tie a knot and remove the stem part, rinse 2 times to remove any yellow color.
*1 carrot–cut into thin strips
*1 cup preserved salty & sour mustard green stems (hum swiin choy)– cut into thin strips, then rinse two times to remove the saltiness.
*1 cup frozen bamboo shoots– cut into thin strips. See note below.
1 pack shredded white tofu (tou kan si)– available in Chinese grocery stores– soak in water to loose up
1 lb soy bean sprout– remove the brownish bottom, rinse and drain
6 medium Chinese mushrooms– soaked overnight– remove stems and thin sliced
2 1/2 cup Chinese celery stems– remove the leaves and the “string”, cut into 2-inch long
10 red hot peppers– chopped
2-3 cloves garlic (optional)– finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
soy sauce to taste– for ingredients with *
chicken bouillon powder to taste
- Heat up wok. Add a little oil and saute the first 8 ingredients, one at a time, until aromatic. Lightly season to taste. For ingredients with *, add a little soy sauce too. For soy bean sprout: saute on very high heat. When the liquid draws out, continue sauteing until the liquid dries out. Dish out all veggies into a big bowl.
- Heat wok again, saute garlic and peppers until aromatic. Return all sauteed veggies back to the wok, add celery stems and stir for a few more times to combine. Add sugar and seasoning to taste.
- Bamboo shoots: frozen is better than canned ones. I seldom use bamboo shoots so I skip this ingredient.
- Once cooling down completely, this dish can be chilled in the fridge and can be kept for 8-10 days, just use a clean dry spoon to take out the portion you need each time.