Monday, February 05, 2007

Chai Buey - a dish or a kind of vegetable ?

Am I confusing myself ? I have always known "chai buey"(hokkien, or teochew pronunciation?) as a vegetable (meatless) item that I will order from the spread of dishes in most Teochew porridge stalls. I did not know this is commonly termed when there are a lot of meat leftovers like roast chicken/pork/duck -that is why it's called Chai Buey (菜尾, Mandarin), which means "leftover dishes" in Hokkien. Was I wrong all along, in calling it "chai buey"- as a vegetable dish ?

Chai Buey Soup - leftover meat or no leftover meat, they all should have chinese mustard vegetable (芥菜, Mandarin) ? Rasa Malaysia has the "leftover meat-chai buey soup" version here.

But I do not have any meat leftovers. I just happened to see pickled sour mustard(chinese mustard greens) on sale in the Asian supermarket (2 packs @ $0.88), so I decided to buy them even without planning ahead what to do with it. How many of you do buy on impulse, even for groceries ? Even though I keep a grocery shopping list and bring it along whenever I visit the supermarket, I still end up with things I have not initially planned for. Wonder if it's just me...do I need more self-control?

In that same shopping trip, I decided to add on to my grocery list - some tomatoes (I recall tomatoes and sour mustard greens do have a "affinity" for each other), and the cheapest cuts of pork (since I only wanted to use it for flavoring) . And of course, I ended up spending more than what I've budgeted for. Wooo...


Chai buey soup (serves 2-3)
Ingredients:
-1pkt chinese mustard vegetable, sliced
-2 medium size tomatoes, cut into wedges
-1lb poultry (chicken or pork, any cuts you prefer)

Method:
1.Blanch pork to remove scum
2.Place pork and mustard in the slow cooker
3.Cook on high for 1 hrs
4.Turn to low, cook for 1-2 more hrs
5. Add the tomatoes early if you like it soft, add it 30mins before turning off the slow cooker if you prefer the "crunch"
6. Dish soup in a bowl whenever you are ready for drinking


A simple soup to make if you like sourish savory soup. To spice it up, red chilli (dried or fresh) can be added. This soup also go well with bee hoon (rice vermicelli), making my quick and easy bee hoon soup.

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