For Singaporeans, Peranakans, and other Asian cultures, food often comes with special meanings. For example, Nonya Chap Chye is a traditional Peranakan dish that incorporates various vegetables into a savoury stew. For those who eat it, the stew represents the bringing together of many different people, all a part of one family. Also, one of the ingredients in the stew is a unique black moss, whose Mandarin name of “fa cai” sounds like the phrase for achieving unexpected wealth or becoming suddenly rich. When you are looking for a caterer in Singapore to provide a Peranakan staple, order this “togetherness” stew as part of your Peranakan buffet catering package from Eatz Catering, or learn how to make it yourself at home.
Every recipe for Nonya Chap Chye is a little different. Find one that not only tastes good, but has a story behind it. Perhaps the recipe was passed down from elderly Peranakan relatives or discovered in an old Peranakan recipe book. Either way, the ingredients you’ll need will likely include dried mushrooms, dried shrimp, dried black fungus, black moss, and golden lily buds.
You may also need bean vermicelli, sweet beancurd skin, oil, chopped garlic, soybean paste, and strips of cabbage. Chicken stock, jicama, salt, and oyster sauce are usually involved in the recipe as well.
Washing and Soaking
First, you’ll need to wash, boil, and slice the mushrooms. Save the mushroom water for later use. Next, soak the dried ingredients to reconstitute them. Make sure you use separate bowls of water and allow about 10 minutes of soaking time for the lily buds, moss, shrimp, and fungus.
Deep-Frying and Stir-Frying
Now it’s time to deep-fry the sweet beancurd skin. You’ll need squares about 5 cm wide. After frying them, lay them aside on some paper towels. Stir-fry the shrimp in a work with some oil, then add in the chopped garlic and fermented soybean paste. After about a minute, add the cabbage and jicama as well.
Boiling and Simmering
Add water, cover the pan, and let everything cook for about 15 minutes, giving the mixture an occasional stir with your spoon. After the cooking time is up, take the lid off the work and put in the reserved mushroom water. Dump in the lily buds, fungus, and mushrooms. Add enough water to cover almost everything, then bring the stew to a boil. At that point, add in the black moss and beancurd skin. Slow the stew to a simmer and keep it there for 5 minutes or so; then add the vermicelli. Last of all, pour in the chicken stock, salt, and oyster sauce, as directed in your recipe.
Now your Nonya Chap Chye is complete, and all you need to do is dish it up into bowls. Keep in mind that it pairs well with a dose of Sambal Belacan.
Ordering Nonya Chap Chye for Your Peranakan Buffet
When it’s time to place your Peranakan buffet catering order for your next big event, be sure to add Nonya Chap Chye to the list. With its connotations of family unity and future prosperity, Nonya Chap Chye is a truly auspicious dish, the perfect menu option whether you’re arraging a family gathering or a business conference. Just contact Eatz Catering about your menu requests, and we’ll make sure that you have delicious, beautiful food delivered on time to your location.