The above are dried oysters and the black moss call Nostoc flagelliforme. It is not the most expensive but is not bad compared to some really fake ones I bought before. The real fatt choy is from the Gobi Desert and the Qinghai plateau according to Wiki and should be green in colour. Anyway, a tiny piece costs RM10. As for the oysters, it is not the regular very dry type but these are the more expensive ones that we can get only during Chinese New Year.
Normally, I stew pork trotters but today, I decided to use belly pork as I need to get this recipe online before another Chinese New Year passed by.
RECIPE FOR HOE SI FATT CHOY – STEWED OYSTERS, PORK, MUSHROOMS AND MOSS
Fatty pork – 600 grams, Cook it without cutting into pieces
1 bulb garlic – preferably smoked garlic
1 teaspoon of white pepper corns, smashed
1 thumb size ginger, smashed
3-4 dried shitake mushrooms, soak in a bowl of water, retain water for cooking
5-6 dried oysters
Tiny bunch of fatt choy, soak in water and leave aside (normally fatt choy has some sands in it so rinse well)
4 tablespoons of thick soya sauce
3 tablespoons of light soya sauce (mix the sauces with the water used to soak mushroom)
Heat a tiny amount of oil and give the mushrooms, pork, garlic, ginger, pepper a quick fry until fragrant. Pour in the soya sauce mixture and add the oysters. Leave to stew until soften. DO NOT add the fatt choy until much later.
When the pork is very tender and soft, then, only add the fatt choy. It tends to soak up the gravy so add more water and adjust seasonings.
This is a traditional recipe and I believe most homes have their own addition. Some like to add a little bit of dried squid and shallots to the stew while others add dried tangerines peel. I prefer to have mine simple as the oysters and mushrooms will provide all the flavour already.
If you are cooking for a large dinner group, you may also want to add some bailing mushrooms. You can find them in cans or bought fresh. I like bailing mushrooms as it provides the meaty chew and it soaks up the flavour of the oysters.
There are lots of recipes using only oysters and fatt choy but I personally find eating them on their own is a little bit overwhelming. I prefer this pork trotter or belly pork version.
Remember to serve with lots of blanched vegetables like broccoli and sweet peas to counter the ‘jelak’ flavour. This dish stores well so you can prepare it in advance and merely add more water to the gravy before serving. I learnt this from one ex-bf’s mom and every year when I prepare this, I wonder if the old lady missed me? 😛 I prepared the Chinese New Year’s Eve meal with her for four years! Woot! She has no daughters to help her and I gained by learning Cantonese cooking.
Hou See Fatt Choy means Good tidings and Prosperity in Cantonese.