My wife likes this dish because my mother in law cooked this rather often at home. However, during our initial years of setting up the family, I refused to cook the dish. The reason being it is very laborious and I have to manual cut the vegetables in cubes.
When she told me the name of the dish as “炒粒粒“ or literally translated “stir frying cubes”, I was shocked and did not believe what she said. But when I Google, I am convinced and there is a name for such a dish..
I was told that this is a dish of Cantonese origin but I have no way to verify. When I posted in the Hong Kong group and enquired if it is a Cantonese dish, one member called Ms. Wong is kind enough to tell me yes and it is an auspicious dish usually served at wedding dinner. She said another name for such a dish is called “炒菜丁” or stir fry vegetable cubes and couples who eaten this dish will have sons or daughters soon after the marriage (添丁）。 She said it is still common nowadays in wedding dinner. I have to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Wong for the enlightenment of this dish’s information.
This is a no rule dish meaning you can select any vegetables of your choice and the attractiveness of the dish is how you pair the colour, texture and taste of the vegetables. This recipe is termed as “rainbow vegetables” because I have purposely selected vegetables that are colourful . Whatever vegetables you chose, the next important point to remember is the cooking time of each vegetable. Those vegetable that are hard and difficult to cook like carrot cubes should be cooked first or even blanch before cooking.
My mother in law’s family do not like meat and all these while, those that are cooked by her are meatless and I found that it is equally delicious. Since I am in my vegetarian diet, this recipe does not include meat but feel free to add in meat cubes of your choice. Suggested meat cubes are chicken or pork or even beef. Other optional items can be luncheon meat cubes, fish cake cubes or even tofu cubes. The only requirement is it must be in cube form and stir fry first before the vegetable are added.
I personally find that the attractiveness of the dish is that every cubes have its unique flavour and they do not crash. At times, I added some nuts such as pine nuts or peanuts. It is also a good dish usually served in the restaurant that sell beers and alcohol.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 3-4 adult
- Some Sichuan vegetables , soaked for at least 1 hour and change water twice
- Some sweet corns
- Some white stems of napa cabbage
- Some red colour capsicum
- Some carrots
- Some shitake mushrooms, soaked until soft
- Some French Beans
- Some mushroom powder or chicken stock
- Pinches of salt
- Dashes of white pepper
- 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
* No quantities are listed as the whole recipe is full of flexibility that you can increase more or less based on your taste bud and number of family members
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut all the vegetables into the size of about 1 cm cube and set aside.
- In a pot, put 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Add the mushrooms, Sichuan vegetables and carrot cubes. Sauté until the mushrooms is aromatic. Add the French beans followed by sweet corn kernels and white stems of the napa cabbage. Stir fry until French bean is soft and aromatic. Add the seasonings (mushroom powder, dashes of white pepper, light soya sauce and salt) and the red capsicum cubes, stir fry for 1-2 minutes and off the heat. The whole stir frying process will take about 5 minutes.
- For non vegetarian version, you can add in meat cubes and minced garlic or shallots. Stir fry the meat until set before adding the vegetables.
- The dish is best served with white porridge or rice.
This is a common dish in my mother in law’s house and the family members really loved this. If you are running out of ideas what to cook, you can try this dish. This is an excellent fridge cleaning dish. The only requirement for this dish is it must be in cubes and you have your choice of vegetables and side ingredients that you liked. However some omelette cubes, luncheon meat cubes and taukwa cubes?
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