A plate of delicious stir fried yam bean with dried squids or “Jiu Hu Char” is a common favourite in a Peranakan household, especially in Penang. Stir fried yam bean or jicama is attractive on its own as it is crunchy and contains a unique combination of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Therefore, what is there to dislike 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 like Chinese New Year, Mooncake Festival or any reunion meal.
Stir Fried Yam Bean with Dried Squids will make you scream for more! As shown in the video, the steps of preparing Jiu Hu Char is pretty easy. Just remember to soak the julienned yam bean to remove the starch or the dish might end up in a gooey mess. Also, you'll need to soak the dried squid strips overnight in room temperature water. If the dried squid strips you bought are much thicker 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 the dried squid strips.
As yam bean is rather hard, allow some time for the dish to simmer. If you noticed that there is not enough water in the pan, feel free to add some hot water but give the dish a few stirs before allowing it to continue simmering.
For those who wish to enjoy the dish with some pork belly or minced pork shoulder, you may also add it in when stir frying the aromatics. The flavour of the rendered pork fats would further contribute to the aroma of the dish.
As I had mentioned, this easy Jiu Hu Char recipe is very low in calories. Enjoy it with some fresh lettuce and a few dollops of sambal belacan to tantalize your taste buds and to create a smashing bowl of accompanying spicy sauce. It will be quite an explosion of flavours, I can assure you.
Stir Fry Yam Bean with Dried Squids is also known as: Jiu Hu CharJu Hu Char鱿鱼炒
Stir fry shallots and garlic with one tablespoon of 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 shiitake mushrooms.
Add yam bean and carrots and mix well. Pour soy sauce and water into the wok. Increase the heat to let the gravy boil and once it boils, reduce the heat and let the dish simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Optionally, add a teaspoon of dark sauce. Add salt to taste. Serve with rice, rice paper or fresh lettuce.