Mixed Vegetables in Claypot with Squid
Mixed Vegetables in Claypot with Squid is a vegetable dish from Hong Kong where vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy and mushrooms are cooked in claypot with rehydrated dried squid. This is the simple version of this dish but there are versions where an array of different dried seafood is utilized giving it a richer flavour, dried seafood like shrimps, scallops and even fish can be used.
Usually served during winter season this is the opposite of the stir fried vegetables usually enjoyed during summer months, best enjoyed with steam rice and steamed fish. I used to see this a lot when I was in Hong Kong and had tried it on those pop up eateries which show at night, the steam coming from these clay pots while you walk home is a good marketing strategy as its aroma easily tempts the hungry to dine in.
Today I suddenly remembered the days when I stayed there and to bring back those good old memories I am making one at home, making my own marketing strategy for my wife and daughter teasing them with the unique aroma Asians love.
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 8 pcs dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 bunch choy sum
- 1 large dried squid
- 4 slices ginger
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
- 1½ cup water (from the soaked mushrooms and squid)
- In a bowl rehydrate mushrooms and squid in boiling water, place something on top to keep mushrooms and squid soaked in water. Leave for 30 minutes.
- Slice squid and mushrooms, squeeze excess water from mushrooms. Set them aside.
- Prepare your sauce, heat oil in the clay pot you will be using. Add garlic and shallot and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the squid and mushrooms then continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Pour the water used for rehydration and bring it to a boil until reduced in half the volume. Add the oyster sauce and sugar, then season with salt and mix. Let it simmer in very low heat.
- In a wok add oil then sauté ginger for a minute.
- Toss the cauliflower and broccoli, add the Chinese cooking wine and a sprinkle of water just to rehydrate. Cover wok and let it cook for a minute.
- Add the choy sum and cook for one more minute. Turn heat off then set aside while covered. Vegetables at this point must be 80% cooked and still crisp.
- Back to your sauce, bring heat to high. Combine 1 tsp cornstarch to 1 tbsp water, add it to your sauce to thicken. Add the vegetables into the claypot, mix it to distribute the sauce then turn the heat off. Cover the claypot, let the residual heat cook the vegetables then serve.