“Zha Cai” or Sichuan Preserved Vegetable?
“Zha Cai” is a Cantonese dialect for Sichuan Preserved Vegetable, this dish still remain well in my memory as it was one of the dish created by my mother when my parent’s restaurant was still in business – Sichuan Preserved Vegetable & Cloud Ear Fungus. It was served steamed back then instead of braising it. I personally prefer it to be braised as braising gives a much more concentrated flavors. Though “Zha Cai” originated from Sichuan, and “Zha Cai” is widely used throughout China in many Chinese Cuisine. My mother says this chicken dish comes from Shunde and here it is – recipe from my mum!
Lead Time : 20 minutes
- 2 pcs of Chicken Whole Leg (chopped)
- 1 pkt of Sichuan Preserved Vegetable (100g)
- 50 g of Dried Cloud Ear Fungus
- 50 g of Ginger (chopped)
- 5 pcs of Red Dates
- 3 tbsp of Cooking Oil
- 500 ml of Water
- 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
- 1 tbsp of Fish Sauce
- 1 tsp of Thick Soy Sauce (Optional) for darker colour
- Clean chopped chicken and put aside.
- Soak dried cloud ear fungus in water for 15 minutes or until soften. Cut off any hard parts, soak in water and put aside.
- Clean and peel ginger. Then finely chop ginger and put aside.
- Use a knife or scissors and to open the Red Dates and remove the seed.
- Prepare the other ingredients.
- Preheat pan/wok with cooking oil.
- Add chopped ginger and fry to golden.
- Add chopped chicken and briefly saute.
- Add water.
- Add Sichuan Preserved Vegetable, Soaked Cloud Ear Fungus, Red Dates, Oyster Sauce, Thick Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce.
- Bring to a boil and keep covered.
- Braised for approximately 10 minutes or until thickens.
- Remove from heat and serve.