Got a huge bag of dried items like black fungus, mushrooms, glass noodles, black moss, lily bulb, and fried bean stick after a praying ritual. They were all packed in little sachets, so I sorted them into my glass containers, by type. Clear plastic bags all go to the recycling bin as I have absolutely no use for them, plus there are too many of them.
I used up everything except black moss to make a vegetarian chap chye. Black moss is endangered, so the ones for the praying ritual could be mocked ones made with gelatin/starch. They look too black to be the real thing.
I mentioned “almost free” because I bought cabbage and carrot to cook the dish. Garlic and condiments like vegetarian oyster sauce and sesame oil are not free either.
Here’s how I usually cook my Chap Chye:
001. Soak all dry ingredients: mushrooms, black fungus, lily bulbs, glass noodles and fried bean stick. After they have softened, rinse thoroughly to remove dirt.
002. In a heated wok, add cooking oil and minced garlic, fry until fragrant.
003. Add mushrooms, black fungus, and lily bulbs. Stir to fry.
004. Add carrot slices, chopped cabbage and fried bean stick.
005. Add vegetarian oyster sauce and enough hot water to cook all the ingredients, and bring to boil.
006. Transfer to a pot and cover to simmer for 15 minutes. Add more water to cover the ingredients, if necessary.
007. Remove cover and add glass noodles, dash of white pepper and sesame oil. Let it boil for another 5 minutes before serving.
I realised that I am starting to cook like my mom, no detailed ingredient list : a bit of this, a bit of that. If you like this ingredient add more, or omit if you don’t.