Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chinese Mustard Vegetable Stew/Chai Buey

I have no plan to post this but my good friend in NZ request for it. So this is for you, sis. I know this is not the best looking dish but they taste really good. So is this dish a vegetable soup or a stew?? I have no clue but when Carlos asked what was I cooking I told him it's a vegetable stew. My mom used to make this from our leftovers roasted meat especially during the 2nd day of CNY. I believe this is a Hokkien dish and it is commonly made when leftover roast meat That's why it's called Chai Buey which means 'leftover dish" in Hokkien. The recipe is simple. You only need 4 key ingredients, which is dried chilies (to give the spiciness), tamarind paste (to give the sourness), Chinese mustard vegetable (kai choy) and some leftover roast meat. Of course, you may always add some garlic, ginger and tomatoes to spice it up a little and salt and sugar to taste.

Some people like using pickle mustard but I prefer using the fresh ones. This is how mustard vegetable looks like. You can get it at any Asian supermarket.

How to cook this dish? There is no exact recipe for it. Just have a big pot ready, add in some oil and heat it up. Add in some sliced ginger and garlic, sauté them. Then, add in some tamarind paste (amount depend on how sour you like) and dried chilies, stir fry them for a few seconds. Once it is fragrant, you may add the meat you have and some water. Once boiled just add in the tomatoes, Chinese mustard and let it stew until the vegetables are soft and tender. Add salt and sugar to taste.

This was how the pot looks like after I put in the vegetables.

After simmering for 2 hours this was what left in the pot.


The end product, spicy, sour and slight sweetness. A great comfort food for me.

27 comments:

MaryMoh said...

Oooh...I love this. A friend once cooked for me. I fell in love with it immediately. I ate a big bowl :D Now I can make it myself!

Quinn said...

Gert, I'm also a Hokkien and we always make this after the 8th day prayer of Pai Thnee Kong. We eat this like throughout the week, for dinner and lunch. We just keep topping it up with mor evegetable and throw in whatever leftover siew yuk bones we have; because dad's friend owns a vegetable stall in some pasar borong, he always gave us like seriously a huge basket of kai choy. Isn't it yummy? Grandma's tip: add assam keping, maggi tomato sauce, throw in leftover ducks and chicken bones and meats too. So yummmy.....I'm already missing this Gert...Sigh!

My Asian Kitchen said...

this dish is one of my favourite dish! look super delicious comfort food! I just cook it 3 weeks ago after get some assam keping from Queens...after eating for 4 straight day,my tummy keroncang in and out of bathroom but still eating until last drop! haha!!

p/s Gert when you get your fresh mustard,did you realise the end leave was cut? I think I saw yours mustard leave was chopped off too..at first I thought they cut off bcoz it's doesn't look good and wilted for tthem to sale but to my suprised when I bought it at HK supermarket the vege guy who just open a box of mustard green,use a knife purposely chopped off the dark leave at the end.He told me that the way every asian market do it!! I was dumbfound!! what? why?

Angie said...

This is one of my favorite comfort foods too. Believe it or not, I make them fresh, meaning use fresh chicken and cook with garlic and soy sauce first then I add the vegetables, dried chilies, and tamarind skin. Well, I guess my version is not exactly "chai buey" but just as good. I would say this is a vegetable stew?

Olive said...

this is a really simple dish that I think my family and I will love. Thanks for sharing :)

Kitchen Corner said...

This is a very flavorful dish! My mum use to cook it at the end of a Chinese New Year. Your one looks very appetizing!!

shereen said...

Thank you so much for posting up this recipe.I have never come across this dish before or if I have,I don't remember it.Looking at the ingredients,it will surely taste very good as it got a hint of spiciness,sourness and at the same time meatiness.I think this will taste good with just a bowl of plain porridge.Your picture of the green mustard helps...as I sucks at recognizing veges.I will be cooking this once I got my vege and whatever meat in the fridge.Thank you again...yum!yum!

reanaclaire said...

yes.. we call it "choy kwok" .. even my young son loves this dish! very appetizing indeed.. sourish and spicy.. that is the best!

Mat Gebu said...

hi gert...
Sawi ni ke yang selalu orang cina buat jeruk....saya suka tau jeruk sawi, boleh campur dalam asam pedas...macam nak try buat sendiri..hehe

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Just see the picture, I'm salivating, sour, spicy and yummy. my mom used to cook this using the leftover meat. But I seldom cook this as kids dont really appreciate, but I love it.

tigerfish said...

I've heard that mustard greens are very very nutritious. How good you can get fresh ones!

wendyywy said...

Ha! I'm a Cantonese from Perak and it's a must for the Chinese New Year leftovers. We call it, Choy Keok, literally translated as Vegetable Sediments.

Sorry, but I don't think this is a hokkien dish, but a North Malaysian Chinese dish, as my southern Malaysian Hokkien friends have never ever heard or eaten this (those who really came from there,as in 3rd or more, not 1st or 2nd generation). My ex colleague from Malacca was in horror when her Mother in Law from Penang cooked this, she called it rubbish vege, so was another friend of mine from Negeri Sembilan.

Cheah said...

This is one of my favourite. Normally, will add in the pig trotters or whatever leftovers. Dried chillies and tamarind skin. Those days, or once upon a time, normally will cook this after a wedding/birthday dinner. We call it 'choy kuek' in Cantonese, then distribute to relatives. Yummy!

Little Inbox said...

I can eat lots of rice with this dish alone.

Food For Tots said...

I really really miss this dish! It reminds me of my childhood dish. But I can't eat too much of it now because of my body condition. *Sigh* ;)

Sunshine said...

I didn't know that its that easy to make this dish! Thanks for sharing it and especially posting a picture of the mustard vegetable so I know what to look for because I don't know what it looks like. I cannot wait to try this out now!!Thanks...looking at your picture makes my mouth water!

Little Corner of Mine said...

This is a comfort food for me too! I loved the gai choy in chai buey, always picked it out to eat first. :P

ICook4Fun said...

Mary, this is so easy to make. Hope you can get this type of vegetable there.

Quinn, yes, During pai thnee kong there will be a lot of roast pork so it will be great for this dish. My mom did the same thing. She will keep topping it up with vegetables. We usually put fresh tomatoes in it. I have to try out tomato sauce the next time.

Lesley, ha ha I guess this vegetable have a lot of 'angin' there is two type of kai choy and another kind is more leafy. For this we usually eat more of it steam. Is that why they remove the leaves?

Angie, how are you my dear? I will normally frezzed up my leftover roast meat until I have enough to cook this. Never use fresh chicken for it :)

Olive, hope your family like this dish.

Kitchen Corner, this dish is a must for us on the 2nd day of CNY.

Sis, so orang Melaka tak makan this dish? Yea this dish is great with porridge.

Reanaclaire, yes very appetizing indeed :)

Mat, yes sayur ni memang di buat jeruk tapi untik this dish biasa kita guna yang fresh.

Sonia, normally kids never like this dish but we grew up eating this and we just love it.

ICook4Fun said...

Tigerfish, I am sure you can get this at Ranch 99 if you are still in CA.

Wendy, I guess this is a Chinese dish then. Yes not many people appreciates this dish. But our family just love it.

Cheah, ya there are times my mom will put roast pig trotters. It is hard for us to get asam keping here so I just use the tamarind paste.

Little Inbox, for me I like eating it on it own.

Food for tots, I hope it is nothing serious. Hope you will be well soon. Take care.

Sunshine, yes it is easy to make this dish. Just dump everything into a big pot :)

LCOM, yes a real comfort food to remind us of home :)

Pete said...

Chai Boey with roast pork bones and all the leftover stuff....very yummy!

Pete said...

Lots of nice recipes you are sharing here. Added your link to my bloglist. I tried out the sausage rolls after reading It's Raining Icecream and your blog. Posted about it too. Cheers!

Mat Gebu said...

Gert..ada award khas untuk blog u, senang2 nanti ambik yeaa.....

Mark @ Cafe Campana said...

Sweet. This looks great. I love warm dishes like this, I am sure it would be satisfying in the middle of winter.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

This with plain porridge would be a perfect lunch for me! :)

Jade said...

omg I love chai buay!! I thought only my mum and granny made it! haha...only theirs is a bit dfferent coz they add fish maw and meatballs and tons of other stuff. but it's the ultimate comfort food with some belacan and a squeeze of lime

ICook4Fun said...

Pete, yea is all about the leftover and thanks for the link.

Mat, thank you so much for the award.

Mark, yea it is a comfort food for me ha ha..

Ju, you are right. This will be great with porridge.

Jade, I think most household in Malaysia knew about this dish.

Lada said...

Gert, thank you so much for posting this recipe. I just tried it today and I really love it! I usually cooked this kind of dish using pickled mustard, but it's really difficult to find pickled mustard that's sour enough for my taste.

I used lots of tamarind paste, fresh chili padi for the spiciness, and pan-fried pork belly slices for the meat. The result's so very very good. Thanks again for this recipe and others, too, Gert. :)