A plate of delicious stir-fried yam bean with dried squids or also known as 'Jiu Hu Char' 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.
Stir-fried yam bean with dried squids will make you wanting for more. As shown in the video, the steps to 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 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.
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.
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.
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 or sweet Thai chili sauce to tantalize your taste buds. 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 at 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. 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.
Optionally, add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce. Add salt to taste. Serve with rice, rice paper or fresh lettuce.