Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bok Choy and Fish Cake Stir Fry


Many of my Chinese recipes are handed down by my mum. Whenever I’d like to have a Chinese dish on our table, I always turn to my mum and try what she cooked for us. She likes to make fish cakes, blended with shiitake mushrooms and dried prawns (dried shrimps), that could be traced back to her family’s heritage. My mum said, the choice of fish meat is crucial. The fish has to be very fresh, without any fishy smell at all. A pinch of pepper and a bunch of diced spring onion will add a kick. The fish cake can be eaten on its own. What a sensational taste when the springy pan-fried fish cake pops into your mouth, comes straight from the pan and still hot. Dip with some chili sauce if you like a spicy kick.

In Hong Kong, people like to choose Mud Carp (鯪魚). Unfortunately, I can’t find any in Australia here. So I used mackerel (馬鮫魚) that’s also a good choice of making springy fish cake.

As for bok choy, try to get the kind with shorter stems if you can. That’s the best kind with sweetest taste.

Fish Cakes with Stir-fried Bok Choy01
Bok Choy and Fish Cake Stir Fry (Printable recipe)

Ingredients:
  • 200 gm bok choy (白菜)
  • 200 gm mackerel (or any white fish meat you like)
  • 40 gm vermicelli (粉絲)
  • 6 dried Shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 large dried prawns (dried shrimps)
  • 1 spring onion, finely diced
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • salt, to taste
Marinade:
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • a pinch pepper
Thickening:
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Fried Fish Cake Procedures

Method:
  1. Rinse bok choy and drain well. Cut into sections, about 4cm (1.5 inch) in length. Separate stalks and leaves apart.
  2. Soak dried prawns, shiitake mushrooms and vermicelli in warm water until softened. Finely chop dried prawns and shiitake mushrooms into cubes. Cut vermicelli into three sections. Set aside.
  3. Use a food processor to grind fish meat into paste. Transfer into a deep bowl. Add dried prawns, mushrooms, spring onion and marinade. Use chopsticks, mix and blend only towards one direction, either clockwise or anticlockwise, for about 10 to 15 minutes. (Note: Beating fish meat towards only one direction will help you produce elastic fish meat. Don’t add in any oil yet in this stage. The fish meat can’t easily be stick together otherwise. I learnt these tricks from my mum.)
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan or wok. Add fish paste, lightly press and flatten the fish paste, to get a disc about 0.5 to 0.7cm (0.5 inch) in thickness. Pan fry the fish over medium heat until both sides are golden brown. Transfer onto a kitchen paper to absorb access oil. Let cool a bit. Cut into small pieces. Set aside.
  5. Add some oil in wok or pan. Saute ginger over medium-high heat until fragrant. Add stalks of bok choy and stir fry until soft. Add leaves and continue to stir fry, followed by chicken broth. Season with salt. When the bok choy is almost done, add vermicelli. Let vermicelli absorb sauce. Replenish more chicken broth or water if necessary. Cook until vermicelli is softened. Toss back fish cakes, add thickening and cook the consistency to your liking. Dish up and serve hot.
Fish Cakes with Stir-fried Bok Choy02

Note:
  • The dried prawns I used were very large one. Each was about 5cm (1 inch) long, meaty and very fragrant with high quality. They are not the same as the small ones, called 蝦米 (xiami, literally means dried prawn as small as rice).
Dried Prawns

More tasty recipes of Bok Choy:

18 comments :

  1. I love boy choy, looks so delicious but I don't think can get this type of dried shrimps here. Will use the normal type.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I"ve not used dried prawns before, and not because I was not intrigued, I am very much so, just didn't know how to do it. Previous attempts had too strong of flavor. Looking forward to following a recipe of a master.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmm the fish cake made from mackerel looks great. I believe it is capable of beating the carp we usually have.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, the fishcake looks good! Nice crunchy bok choy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Christine, your Mom is such a good teacher! I've seen fish cakes in stores and restaurants but never thought it could be made at home! They look really delicious and healthy too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seriously, this can be a one-dish meal for me :)

    I like how you do the fish cake with the veg and glass noodles.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely dish. It's great to have a mother who teaches you how to cook and then you're passing your knowledge to your daughter. In my case, it was my dad. The fish cakes sounds good with all the authentic ingredients.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Christine, thank you so much for the tips on the ingredients for making fish cake -- FRESH and 100% "fishy!!" I've been dying to try making fish cake from scratch after seeing a few other blogger friends did it! Thank you! I shall take your and your mom's advice into consideration when the time for some fish cake making!

    Keep it up! Love your work. Sorry if I don't get to visit with you as much as I used to. Work life has kept me super busy. =(

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Christine,

    is it ok to use frozen mackerel? it's very hard to find fresh mackerel here.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh wow looks delicious and adore bok choy

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your home made fish cakes look really nice! I love savoury dishes like this, just give me rice and I'll finish the whole dish by myself hehe

    ReplyDelete
  12. My favourite dish again. I love bok choy. Just bought 2 packets from the Chinese shop yesterday. Your fish cakes look very delicious. I love them in soup, too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. oh my great fishcakes....so lovely!!
    sweetlife

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love the fishcakes here and the whole dish sounds fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dun think I can find Mud Carp in Spore. We only get to taste it in the restaurant. Love the combi of bok choy and fish cake. Looks so healthy yet tasty. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, nice fish cake dish...love it with lots of bok choy...nice pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Christine! Brussels calling!! What a refined & divine dish!!

    So tasty looking,...yummm!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I loved this dish, we had it for supper tonight, and it was delicious. I will surely create this again when I have time. Thanks!

    Easy Stir Fry

    ReplyDelete