Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hakka Mixed Stir Fry, a signature Hakka dish - 客家小炒 - WW



Hakka Mixed Stir-Fry - 客家小炒
I did not cook this. But I want to introduce it to you. A stir fry dish that is signature in almost every Hakka restaurant or eatery. If you are a Hakka, and you cook at home, this is ONE dish you better perfect or learn to do as it is such a representative dish in the Hakka culture.

Hakka Mixed Stir-Fry (客家小炒 Ke Jia Xiao Chow) uses ingredients such as pork, dried cuttlefish, firm tofu (tau kwa, 豆干 ), celery, scallions or spring onions, ginger, garlic and red chili. These are all key ingredients. Missing one? - nah...it's not Hakka Mixed Stir-Fry 客家小炒 anymore. Most of the ingredients are prepared and sliced to strip-forms to ensure consistency in cooking and presentation. The basic seasonings are simple - soy sauce and rice wine. I would think the cooking technique poses more challenges. How to get dried cuttlefish that are perfect to chew yet not rubbery and hard to bite. How to get tender juicy strips of pork within that few minutes of high heat frying. How to get a resultant dish which has no sauce/gravy and...yet not totally stripped DRY? Like how wise Jaden expresses, not all stir fries come in "....goopy brown sauce...". Yes, and this is definitely one of them! The seqeuence of adding in the ingredients and the heat-control during cooking (mostly high heat required) is essential to getting the perfect textures required in this dish.

Now I have given you the nearest/closest English calling to this dish, and the official Chinese name, it's time you go search for some good recipes and try it out if you are interested. Or if you already know how to cook this in your daily rituals, post it and share the tips with us. :D



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