Meal to Share (Chinese New Year) – Seafood San Choi Bao

Meal to Share

We are back. Since the ushering of the Year of the Rabbit is just round the corner, three of us thought it will be a great idea to do a Chinese New Year theme. Celebrating Chinese New Year is so different from what I remember. I have not been back to Singapore for CNY for more than a decade and have lost touch with the real celebrations. Over here, we have dinner and lohei with friends. We don’t go visiting and definitely not receive any angbaos (red packet or lucky money). Plus, Chinese New Year is not a public holiday in Australia so it is very lacking in festive mood. I should really make a trip back next year to celebrate CNY with family and friends. I miss the craziness and I miss having family with me.

Since there are only 2 of us, I wanted to keep this simple but still fulfilling as a main. San choi bao is usually an entree to a Chinese banquet but with the 2 of us, I decided to portion it up and make it as a rather healthy main. You can also prepare and cook all the ingredients and allow your guests to help themselves to the leaves and wrap or fill it up themselves. Interactive dinners are always so much fun.

All of the ingredients were from Prahran market. The prices here are definitely more expensive than any other markets around Melbourne. But I have to say, the quality is pretty good as well. And everyone smiles in this market!

prawns, tuna and scallops

prawns, tuna and scallops

And did I mention about the free food in this market? Amazing. Everywhere I turn, someone is giving out sausages, baklava, cheeses, ham and fish fritters…. The baklava from Ablas Patisserie is amazing. I must go back there next time I am in the area again. So So SO good!

Anyway, back to my dish. I did trim some of my iceberg lettuce leaves so that it looks more circular.

cabbage leaf

cabbage leaf

I bought my fresh black fungus from the mushroom man of course! If you can’t find it, just use the dried ones or even shitake mushrooms. No stress :)

Black fungus

Black fungus

If I had my way, I will have added the black moss fungus but everything is a little rushed and Prahran’s Chinese grocer ran out of black moss! Black moss fungus or many Chinese refer it as “Fatt Choy” (it really looks like black hair) is a must eat over CNY. “Fatt choi” means prosperity and this is very important in every Chinese household. To replace it, I used vermicelli. Texture wise, it is very similar but meaning wise, very different ;)

Seafood san choi bao

Seafood san choi bao

From Jeroxie, GONG XI FA CAI to all! May your year be filled with prosperity, good health and loads of yummy food :)

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large prawns
  • 200g of fresh tuna steak
  • 200g of fresh scallops
  • 30g of dried vermicelli, soaked in hot water and drained
  • 40g of fresh black fungus, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 iceberg lettuce leaves, washed, dried and trimmed if required
  • 4 baby corn, sliced
  • 2tsp of chives, finely chopped
  • 1 birds eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 2tsp of finely grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp of light soy sauce
  • A few drops of sesame oil
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1tsp of shao xing wine
  • Stock

Method:

  1. Marinate the tuna steak with 1tbsp of soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil and a grind of white pepper on each side for at least an hour. Prep the prawns and scallops and set aside. I left the head and tail of the prawns but you may remove them if you like
  2. Season the soaked vermicelli with a few drops of soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside
  3. Cook the tuna by searing it about 1 minute on each side and then set aside. Do the same with the scallops. I seared 30secs on each side
  4. Add the garlic, ginger and shallots into a pan with low heat and saute until all soft. Turn up the heat and then add the baby corn and black fungus. Add the shao xing wine and light soy sauce and combine. Then add the prawns and cook each side for about 2 mins each. Spoon 4tbsp of stock and allow it to simmer. Taste and season accordingly
  5. Take one leaf, layer the bottom with vermecelli and then the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with the chives, drizzle a couple of drops of sesame oil and serve
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For entree, Celeste made us a lovely prawn entree. We do love our seafood!

For dessert, Chinese egg tarts and nian gao are a must have in every Chinese household celebrating CNY. Great job Agnes!! Those tarts were fantastic :)

chinese egg tarts

chinese egg tarts