Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chai Choy/Vegetarian Delight

This would be my vegetable dish when i ran out of greens. The only fresh ingredients are the Nappa Cabbage or ordinary cabbage and carrots, the rest are dried. There are many ingredients involved but even with a few ingredients less, this dish will be very flavorful especially if the sauce is right. This is a classic to the vegetarian and it can be a meal by itself for there are so many nutricious ingredients involved. Although this is a vegetable dish, dried oysters can be added for flavor and oysters are acceptable and considered vegetarian.

4 tbsps cooking oil
2 pieces fermented beancurd(preferably the red type which is called 'nam yee'
1/2 cup dried oysters - soaked(optional)
8 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and halved
1 lb Nappa cabbage, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
6 - 8 pieces Fried tofu (tofu pok) - halves
3 long pieces dried bean curd (foo chook) - soaked and break into small pieces
1/2 cup black fungus - Wan yee - soaked
1/2 cup lily bulbs - soaked and tied into knots
1 small bundle glass noodles - soaked
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 cup water
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
In a wok, heat oil and stir-fry fermented beancurd until fragrant. Add oysters (if using),mushrooms, cabbage and carrot. Stir-fry until cooked through.
Add in the rest of the ingredients except the soaked glass noodles and the seasonings
Bring to the boil, add the seasonings, then reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer.
Add in the glass noodles and continue to simmer, you might have to add in more water/stock if the sauce has thickened too much. Do no be afraid to add more water/stock as the glass noodle will swell and soak up all the goodness.
Simmer until sauce has thickened.
Dish up and sprinkle with sesame oil.
Serve hot.



Cate said...

I love this dish. My mom usually makes this when I have a craving for it.

Anonymous said...


My Family been making this recipe for many years for New Year. Jai with your recipe is the same in my family. I also use beancurd skins in it and glutins too.


Claire said...

I love this dish! My mom's friend makes this same dish but also adds water chestnuts and gingko's really good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aunty Lily
I hv been following your blog for sometime already and love everything that you posted. I wonder if you know a type of Thai dessert whereby green beans flour is used. I hv been looking for the recipe but do not know the name of the dessert. It is somewhat like jelly, which I believe the green beans flour is used, and is made in pandan leaves mould (pandan leave is stapled in 2inches square to form a mould.) The base is green colour and the top layer is coconut milk. It has some chopped water chestnut in it too. I really hope u know what I am refering to. Thank you very much.
Anonymous W

lilyng said...

anonymous w

i think this dessert is called 'tako'. the recipe is not difficult but making the pandan leave case is challenging.

Angust Almighty said...


Can i know what is glass noodles and lily bulbs in chinese / cantonese? please...... thank you veli muchie.. :)

lilyng said...

august almighty

glass noodles in cantonese is 'toong fun'


lily bulbs in cantonese is 'kum chum'

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

May I know when to add in the tang hoon and the seasoning?

Many thanks. :)

lilyng said...


i am sorry i left out this step and i have editted the post

thanks for pointing this out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for the prompt reply.

Very grateful for the great effort spent to provide us such wonderful recipes.

I will definitely give it a try as I love this dish very much. I had been sourcing for a good recipe for a while till I saw yours, I was so happy. :D

Once again, 'Thank you'! :)

Anonymous said...

Aunty Lily
Thank you very much for the reply. Can you post the tako recipe please? I believe we can line the black coated tray with pandan leaves and make a big one instead of those small squares. Do you agree? I truly hope that you can post the recipe. Thanks again and you are awesome.
Anonymous W

lilyng said...

anonymous w

yes, you can, but tako signature are the pandan leave cases.

i will try and get some big pandan leaves and then will try to make some.

vien said...

Hi Lily,
My mum used to make this during CNY too.She called glass noodles "fun see".
The "fun see" and the sheets of foo chook were always deep fried first.I guess yours is the healthier version. :)

natasya said...

This dish is so delicious, i cooked it 2 days in a row. Thanks for sharing.

Wendy said...

My family made this dish around the Chinese New Year. Thanks for your recipe, I now know how to make it cos no one is around to teach me. It came out the way I remember it. I ate two big bowls. My family also added water chestnut and gingko nuts but I do not have any at home. Thanks again. I love vegetarian food. It's my comfort food esp. when Chinese New Year is around the corner.

MissLady717 said...

oh god i miss this dish so much! my grandma makes this for me all the time! i can smell it just by looking at your pictures...

Pauline said...

Oh, man. I love chai choy, but I always get it from a can, which is bad, cuz I don't know how it's made. Looks so good with that shiny sauce! I'll definitely have to make this some time. You're wonderful for posting how to make this!

(funny thing, though, the "vegetarian" delight has oyster sauce in it. whoops! pescaterian delight, i suppose. XD )

lilyng said...


i don't much about vegetarian values and i was told that oysters are acceptable, so why not syster sauce then.

Then again, omit whatever and make this dish your vegetarian delight.

Anonymous said...

Vegetarian oyster sauce made from mushroom extract is pretty common. You can probably use that as a substitute.

Jia hui said...

hi lily,May i know ur 1 cup rice flour is how manny gram?? pls help! thks! i try to make ur lai fun :)

Anonymous said...

hi lily, may i knw ur 1 cup rice flour is how manny gram?? pls help me cos i try to make lai fun loh! thks! frm:Jia hui in Dubai.

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