Braised cabbage with dried oysters and black moss is an auspicious must have for Chinese New Year.
Dried oysters ('hou si' in Cantonese) represent good tidings whereas black moss (fatt choy) symbolises prosperity or good fortune.
They may not look appetising in their dried form, but cooked in a dish, the oysters lend a rich flavour of seafood and the strands of black moss add texture.
It's a fairly opulent dish, especially with the addition of dried shiitake mushrooms and dried scallops.
Resist the urge to use fresh shiitake mushrooms. It may be a convenient and cheaper option, but the taste is different.
Marinating the dried oysters in ginger juice helps to get rid of the fishy odour.
Now for the most interesting part - the black moss. There is a secret to getting the fatt choy to taste smooth instead of stringy.
Add a little oil to prevent the moss from becoming matted clumps.
The effect you'll want: glossy strands of black moss to accentuate the dish.
Knife Cooking Oil, an aromatic blend which includes peanut oil and sesame oil, makes a versatile choice for this dish.
Fry the garlic and ginger too, to lend shine and smoothness to the black moss.
Add the napa cabbage only towards the end of the cooking process to prevent it from turning mushy.
If you prefer convenience over presentation, there is no need to steam the dried scallops separately.
Place them in the pot about 30 minutes into cooking the mushrooms and oysters.
I personally prefer to use a claypot, but don't use it on a high heat as you could damage it. Keep the heat to around medium-low.
If you want to cut down on the washing up, the claypot can also serve as a serving dish.
Knife oils have high smoke points, making them suitable for all types of cooking methods and are free of trans fats and cholesterol.
Some fats can add richness to food
Fat must be included in our diet to help our body absorb certain nutrients. Apart from enriching the flavours of the food, fat is a source of energy and soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
It provides essential fatty acids (EFA) which our bodies cannot make, such as omega 3 and 6.
The body can produce a small amount of omega 9 on its own - but only when the other EFAs are present.
Homegrown heritage brand Knife has a range of cooking oils that are well suited for use in the home kitchen.
Knife oils have high smoke points and are free of trans fats and cholesterol.
This article was first published on January 18, 2015.
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