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Jiu Hu Char (Stir Fry Yam Bean with Dried Squids)

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Jiu Hu Char (Stir Fry Yam Bean with Dried Squids)

Vegetables
Category
Vegetables

Easy
Difficulty
Easy

Total Time
Total Time
Prep 15 M / Cook 30 M

Servings
Yield
4 Servings

Grace Teo
Grace Teo   thegraceteo
Published on March 19, 2017

  Based on 205 ratings  Watch Now

Ingredients

1 tbsp
oil
1
garlic clove(s)
1
shallot(s)  
15 g
shrimps (dried)
20 g
dried squid (strips)
3
shiitake mushroom(s)
1
yam bean (jicama sengkuang)
2 tbsp
light soy sauce
300 ml
water
1
carrot(s)
1 tsp
dark soy sauce
0.5 tsp
salt

Background

‘Jiu hu char’ is a plate of delicious stir-fried yam bean with dried squids and is a common favourite in a Peranakan household, especially in Penang. Stir-fried yam bean or jicama is delicious on its own as it is crunchy and contains a unique combination of vitamins, fiber and minerals. There is so much to like about this dish. Moreover, the actual cooking process did not take too long. This is another reason why jiu hu char is a common dish during Chinese festivals or any reunion meal.

Jiu hu char history

Jiu hu refers to cuttlefish which is one of the two main ingredients in this dish. The word ‘char’ refers to stir-fry. Hence jiu hu char actually means stir-fried cuttle fish. The other main ingredient is jicama. This combination of jicama and cuttle fish is a favourite stir-fry dish especially during Chinese festivals or any reunion meals such as Chinese New Year and Qing Ming (Tomb-Sweeping Day). Just as many other Nyonya or Peranakan dishes, jiu hu char uses dried shrimps for the extra pungent flavour. The other obvious Peranakan style of eating is with the pairing of sambal belacan in the dish.

Soak ingredients before cooking

Do soak the julienned yam bean to remove the starch or the dish might end up in a gooey mess. Also, you will need to soak the dried squid strips overnight in room temperature water. If the dried squid strips are too thick and you would like to ensure that they are soft enough for cooking, here is a tip for you. Just add half a teaspoon of baking soda when soaking them

Adding meat to jiu hu char

For those who wish to enjoy the dish with some pork belly or minced pork shoulder, you may also add it when stir frying the aromatics. The flavour of the rendered pork fats would further contribute to the aroma of the dish.

Vegetarian jiu hu char

To prepare vegetarian jiu hu char, simply omit dried shrimps and dried squid from the dish. Adding kombu broth to the dish helps to provide the seafood flavours which is usually provided by dried shrimps and dried squid. Making kombu broth requires one to combine the 300 ml water and kombu (ca. 5 cm x 5cm) for about 8 hours. Besides that you may also add julienned king trumpet (pleurotus eryngii) mushroom to the dish.

Sambal for jiu hu char

Enjoy it with some fresh lettuce and a few dollops of sambal belacan or sweet Thai chili sauce to tantalize your taste buds. It will be quite an explosion of flavours, I can assure you.

As yam bean is rather hard, allow some time for the dish to simmer at low heat. If you noticed that the water had lessened but the yam bean has not softened, feel free to add more hot water. Just give the dish a few stirs before allowing it to continue simmering.

Jiu Hu Char (Stir Fry Yam Bean with Dried Squids) is also known as: Ju Hu Char鱿鱼炒

Steps

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Step 1/3

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove(s)
  • 1 shallot(s)  
  • 15 g shrimps (dried)
  • 20 g dried squid (strips)
  • 3 shiitake mushroom(s)

Stir-fry sliced shallots and minced garlic with oil until fragrant in a pan heated over medium heat. Then, add in the dried shrimps and dried squids. Continue to stir-fry until the smell of dried shrimps and dried squids get stronger, then add sliced shiitake mushrooms.

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Step 2/3

  • 1 yam bean (jicama sengkuang)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 carrot(s)

Add julienned yam bean and julienned carrots. Mix well. Add soy sauce and water. Increase the heat to let the gravy boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat and let the dish simmer for 15-20 minutes.

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Step 3/3

  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Optionally, add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce. Add salt to taste. Serve with rice, rice paper or fresh lettuce.

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