Thursday, 30 January 2014

Big Bowl Feast ( Poon Choi / Pen Cai) 盆菜

Big Bowl Feast ( Poon Choi / Pen Cai ) 盆菜



Recipe source : Doris Choo of  Sumptuous Flavours

Poon Choi ( in Cantonese ) or Pen Cai ( in Mandarin ) is a cultural heritage food of Hong Kong. It was first served in a large wooden basin to the Emperor and his army during the Sung Dynasty.

It has since been widely commercialised in Hong Kong. Various ingredients such as pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck, seafood, abalone, bean curd, Chinese radish, broccoli, pigskin, prawns and fish maw are cooked and assembled layer by layer in large earthen or metal pots.

The trick lies in mingling the various food, layer by layer, so that the variety of flavours blend well between the layers to complement each other to create a wonderful big bowl feast. 

Today, the 30th of January 2014 is the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, heralding the year of the Horse. Chinese across the globe are rushing back home to celebrate the annual reunion dinner with their loved ones. Our two older children who are working abroad have come home to celebrate this joyous and auspicious occasion. 

We have prepared a poon choi to cater to everyone's palate, all assembled together in one big earthen bowl ! It is time consuming, no doubt about it, but it is not difficult. All you need to do is plan ahead.l For us, it was a matter of putting all our favourite dishes together. We discussed among ourselves to assure ourselves the various layers of flavours can blend well together. It was well worth the extra time and effort. We had a great feast! 

Special Thanks to Alvin from Chef and Sommelier for providing the inspiration. 

Wishing all friends and readers Gong Xi Fa Cai! 
May the year of the Horse brings you joy, happiness and prosperity all year round!

Base layer - Braised pork knuckles with radish


 


Ingredients


500g pork knuckle, cut into pieces
2 radishes, cut into chunks
1/4 piece Shanghai nam yee, mashed
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 sprig parsley, cut into sections of 3 cm
1 stalk spring onion, cut into sections of 3 cm
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
 1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 1/2 bowls water


Method


1.  Heat wok and add oil. Saute chopped garlic until fragrant.
2.  Add mashed name yee and pork knuckles. Stir-fry until pork knuckles change colour.
3.  Add water and radish. Add oyster sauce, light soy sauce, salt and sugar.
4.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until pork knuckles are tender.
5.  Add parsley and spring onion. Stir to mix well.
6.  Dish up. Separate the gravy from the solids.
7.  Place the pork knuckles and radish into a large earthen ware pot.


2nd layer - pigskin

Ingredients

1 small piece of dried pigskin


Method


1.  Soak pigskin until soft. Boil pigskin for about 20 minutes.
2.  Pour away the water. Rinse and squeeze the pigskin gently several times.
3.  Boil again for another 10 minutes or until the pigskin is soft.
4.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.
5.  Squeeze out water from the pigskin. Ensure you squeeze out all the water.
6.  Place the pigskin pieces into the earthen ware pot over the base layer.
7.  Then pour the sauce from the braised pork knuckles and radish over the pigskin layer. 


Place the pigskin over the base layer of braised pork knuckles with radish

Pour the gravy from the braised pork knuckles over the layer of pigskin.
The pigskin soaked up the gravy and absorbed the flavour from the braised pork knuckles


3rd Layer - Deep-fried bean curd sheets

1/2 a piece of bean curd sheet 

 

Method


1.  Deep dry the bean curd sheet in hot oil. 
2.  Break into smaller pieces.
3.  Place them over the 2nd layer.


3rd layer :  Deep-fried bean curd sheets

4th Layer - Stir-fired Chinese Cabbage


Ingredients


300g Chinese cabbage
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water

 

Method


1.  Heat wok and add cooking oil.
2.  Pour in Chinese cabbage and stir-fry until cabbage is softened. 
3.  Add 2 tbsp water and salt.
4.  Cook for a further 1 minute.
5.  Dish up and pour this over the deep-fried bean curd sheet layer.


4th layer

5th Layer :  Braise mushrooms with top shell


 Marinated mushrooms : with 1 tbsp shao hsing wine, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp oil

 A can of top shells

Top shells

Ingredients


12 pieces of small dried mushrooms - marinated with 1 tbsp shao hsing wine, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp oil
1 tin top shell, sliced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
6 slices ginger
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 bowl water
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp cornstarch     )  mix to form
1 tbsp water           )  thickening solution

 

Method


1.  Heat wok. Add cooking oil.
2.  Fry the ginger slices and chopped garlic until fragrant.
3.  Add in the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute.
4.  Add oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, salt and 1/3 bowl of water
5.  Cook for 2 minutes and add thickening solution.
6.  Dish up and arrange this around the stir-fried Chinese cabbage and over the deep-fried bean curd sheets. 



Premium Layer


200g roast roast pork
300g large prawns : make garlic prawns
1 tin abalone
1 chicken whole leg : make drunken chicken
100g baby bok choy 


Abalone

 Roast pork  - Home-made

To make sauce for drunken chicken


1 bowl chicken stock
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp shao hsing wine
 dash of sesame oil

 

Method


1.  Boil chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil and salt together.
2.  Cool down and add in wine.
3.  Place chicken whole leg into the solution.
4.  Marinate for three to four hours. 
5.  Chop into bite-sized pieces


Drunken chicken

To make garlic prawns


300g large prawns, remove vein and cut a slit across the back 
1 tbsp chopped garlic
4 chilli padi
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp cooking oil

Method


1.  Heat wok. Add oil and saute the chopped garlic until fragrant.
2.  Add prawns and chilli fry until turn colour to pinkish-red.
3.  Add soya sauce and continue to fry until cooked.
4.  Dish up and set aside.



To prepare baby bok choy


100g baby bok choy
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2bowl water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

Method


1.  Boil half a pot of water.
2.  Add 1 tsp lye water.
3.  Blanch baby bok choy. Rinse with running water.
4.  Drain away the water.
5.  Heat 1/2 bowl water, add in oyster sauce, salt and sugar and bring to a boil.
6.  Add in blanched bok choy and stir for one minute.
7.  Remove and set aside.


Assembling the premium layer

1.  Arrange the five ingredients of the premium layer round the top of the earthen pot

 


I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest : Hong Kong + Macau - Jan & Feb 2014, hosted by Annie from Annielicious Food


7 comments:

  1. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and family. Your Poon Choi looks super delicious with all the mouth-watering ingredients. I've never had this dish before but heard all about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Veronica, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

      Delete
  2. wow, this really needs a lot of effort..you did that! i just poon choi for dinner just now..no no..i didnt cook that, had it at a restaurant, they serve halal food so no roast pork nor pork trotters..they have abalone, chicken, roast duck, veggies, prawns and some vegetarian stuffs...:) Gong xi fa cai to you , doris!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lena, Gong Xi Fa Cai! May the year of the Horse brings you joy, happiness and prosperity all year round!

      Delete
    2. Hi Lena, may I know where did you eat the halal poon choi?

      Delete
  3. Gong Xi Fa Chai, Doris!!! What a prosperous Poon Choi!!! Wishing you abundance of prosperity as your Poon Choi too!!

    ReplyDelete

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