This site has had steady traffic for the last couple of years, and thank you to the readers of this blog. I've been exploring all sorts of different cuisine and baking, thus the homemade Chinese theme of the blog has been neglected. As the transition is underway, you can now find recipes at:
I was at the grocery store recently and came across On Choy (空心菜, 通菜) that was on sale for a great price, so I decided to make On Choy with Beef for dinner. Having homemade meals certainly is much more healthy than eating out all the time, and it also helps save money when especially seasonal ingredients are used. There are several variations of On Choy that I have on this site, but this is the first recipe that will be combining a meat and wet bean curd as the sauce. To those who are new to some of the ingredients in this recipe, here is a picture of the major ingredients used.
There are two types of On Choy that can be found at the local Chinese grocer. There is a white variety and a green variety. I personally prefer the green variety because it's more crispy, while the white one tends to release a lot of water during the cooking process. On Choy translates to hollow vegetable, because the stalks are hollow along its length. The following ingredients will be needed to make On Choy with Beef:
Wet fermented Bean curd (jar pictured earlier)
Sirloin steak (or other cut of beef that can be thinly sliced)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (divided in 1/3 equal portions)
1 large bundle of Green On Choy
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Soy sauce
Before we cook the On Choy, we will need to do some preparation:
Take a serving portion of beef and slice thinly. Be sure to trim off
excess fat beforehand and always slice perpendicular (90 degrees) to the
grain of the muscle fibres. If the blade of the knife follows the
muscle fibres, be prepared for some chewy meat.
Add the soy sauce, 1 tsp of cornstarch, 1/3 of the garlic to the beef.
Mix the ingredients around evenly using your hand, and let it sit for an
hour in the refrigerator to marinate.
Cut each stalk of the On Choy so that long stems are trimmed to manageable biting portions (roughly 5 inches long). Also remove the non-leafy stems at the bottom of each stalk.
Rinse the On Choy using water after trimming them and place to one side.
Spoon out 3 small cubes of the wet bean curd to a small bowl, and add 1 tsp of sugar. Mash up the bean curd with a dessert spoon and mix well with the sugar to form a paste. Wet bean curd will give off a lot of water as it sits in the sugar, so there should be no rush to add water to form the paste.
To cook the On Choy with Beef:
Heat up a wok on medium high heat
Toss in the 1/3 of the garlic, wait 10 seconds, then toss in the On Choy. Stir the On Choy around a little, then cover the wok with the lid.
Every 2-3 minutes check on the On Choy, it will shrink considerably as it cooks. Once cooked, remove from the wok.
Empty the wok of all excess water, and add oil again to the wok.
Toss in the bean curd mixture, and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes in the wok. It will bubble quite a bit, but we are in effect concentrating the flavours.
Carefully toss in the On Choy, but DO NOT pour in the excess water that has collected on the plate that held the On Choy. Save this water in a small bowl and keep to one side.
Stir around the On Choy in the bean curd sauce and then remove from the wok onto the serving plate.
Again, empty the wok, and add some oil again. Toss in the remainder of the garlic and add the beef to wok and stir fry.
Make a thickened sauce for the beef by adding the On Choy water from earlier, 1 tsp of cornstarch and pouring it with the beef.
Once the sauce has thickened, remove the beef from the wok and place over top the On Choy.
Stir fried white radish cake is a recipe that has different regional variations. Sometimes it's made using plain white radish, other times it uses a flavourful and savoury white radish cake. When stir frying, a plethora of accompanying ingredients can be added such as bean sprouts, chives, green onion, eggs, and the list goes on. Leading to even greater variation is the use of sauces such as XO sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, or whatever other sauce is needed to adjust the flavour to taste.
My personal favourite is to use a savoury white radish cake. You can find the recipe for that here: Savoury Turnip Cake (Daikon), or just purchase it at the Chinese grocer. We will also be using a teaspoon of XO Sauce. You can buy it in the grocery store, but if you prefer, make your own ahead of time using this recipe: XO Sauce Recipe
The great part about this recipe is that it is a quick meal on a weekend! You'll find that it pairs extremely well with Congee!
To make Stir Fried White Radish Cake you will need:
Serving portion size of white radish cake, chopped into half inch cubes
Cooking the Stir Fried White Radish Cake:
Lightly oil the wok on medium high heat.
Pour in the cubes of white radish cake (Daikon cake)
Stir fry the cubes until lightly browned on most sides. Be careful not to be overly zealous with the stir-frying, the cubes may break apart!
Crack a whole egg into the wok and stir-fry some more so that the egg becomes scrambled up in between the cubes of radish cake
Toss in a teaspoon of XO Sauce, stir fry to mix evenly, then remove from heat.