When it comes to Chinese New Year, many families have their must-have dish to serve for reunion dinner. One favourite dish is braised sea cucumber with fish maw and mushrooms. A gorgeous dish worth waiting a whole year for, it is slow cooked, so the oyster sauce is infused into the ingredients to become a savoury sticky dish, creating that melt-in-the mouth experience.
What is sea cucumber? Classified in the same group as starfish and sea urchins, they have a long and tube-like body, like a cucumber. Highly gelatinous, it is quite tasteless, but eventually takes on the flavours of the sauces it is cooked in. When you bite into it, you’ll find that it is rather springy, but it can also melt in your mouth depending on how long it is cooked.
Fish maw is considered one of the four delicacies of the sea. It is a dried bladder of a large fish like croaker. A good source of collagen, it is low in fat and helps with blood circulation. Fish maw is suitable for making soup or braising.
This Chinese New Year let’s roar in the new year with this delicious dish to impress the family during reunion dinner.
• 1kg sea cucumber
• 80g dried shitake mushrooms (soak in hot water before cooking)
• 3 cups water (you can include the water from the soaked mushrooms)
• 350g Chinese cabbage
• 30g black moss (rehydrate before cooking)
• 4 cloves garlic
• 4 tablespoon cooking oil
• 6 tablespoon oyster sauce
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon chicken stock powder
- Wash the Chinese cabbage and then strain in a colander.
- Scrape the sea cucumber under running water to remove any impurities.
- Cut the sea cucumbers and cabbage to 4 cm segments
- Place the cabbage at the bottom of a large pot and add 2 cups of mushroom water / water in. Simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Then turn the heat up, add in the mushrooms, sea cucumber and remaining mushroom water / water in.
- Add the seasonings and bring to boil. Then lower the heat and gently simmer.
- In another pan, lightly brown the garlic cloves with oil. Add the cooked garlic and oil into the pot and stir to combine.
- Lay the black moss on top and simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes or until everything is soft. Serve hot.