When we visit my in-laws in Ipoh, Malaysia, my mother-in-law (who is an excellent cook) will braise Nam Yu Duck with Wood Ear Fungus and Leeks for our dinner. I have not savoured this delicious and flavourful dish since we moved back to Singapore. Recently as I was chatting with one of our friends, she mentioned that she preferred chicken to duck and I was inspired to experiment with chicken and since all the leeks were sold out because of the Chinese New Year season, I replaced leeks with spring onions. The outcome? I am so glad that it was as tasty as duck!!!
As its name suggests, Wood Ear Fungus/Black Fungus looks like ears and is black in colour and some might be put off by its look. Before you reject this dish, read the health benefits of black fungus and you will most probably want to try it. From these links you can read about its benefits such as it lowers cholesterol, improves blood circulation and much more. http://www.livestrong.com/article/329389-benefits-of-black-fungus/
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Wok with cover
600g to 700g of chicken [about half of the chicken] (cut into 3 cm pieces)
30 g dry black fungus
3 pieces red fermented bean curd (mashed)
1 tablespoon red fermented bean curd pickling sauce
2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoon sugar
20 thin slices ginger
6 stalks of spring onions (the white portion only)
2 tablespoon of oil
The green portion of the spring onions (julienned)
- Blanch chicken in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.
- Soak the fungus in water till soft.
- Once the fungus has softened, rinse off any sand/grit.
- Cut the fungus into bite size pieces and remove and discard tough ends.
- Rinse again to ensure that all impurities are removed. Drain and set aside.
- In a wok, heat up the oil over low heat.
- Add in the ginger slices and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes
- Add in the white part of the spring onions and sauté till fragrant.
- Stir in the mashed red fermented bean curd (Nam Yu) with its prickling sauce.
- Add in the chicken and ensure all the pieces are well coated with the Nam Yu for a few minutes.
- Mix in the wine.
- Add enough water to barely cover the chicken and bring it to boil. Then lower the heat to braise the chicken for about 15 minutes.
- Top up the water when it is necessary.
- Stir in the fungus and braise for another 15 minutes.
- When ready, taste and adjust the amount of sugar and salt to taste.
- Dish out and garnish with spring onions.