Monday, November 12, 2012

Hakka Dishes - Index

All time favourite Hakka Food Revisited

These links would hopefully assist blog visitors to access links to various dishes :


Taro Yam Braised Belly Pork 芋头扣肉

Another version of Yam Kou Rou

Pork Belly with preserved mustard

Fried radish meatball

Steamed meat patty


Salt baked chicken

Fried Chicken Wings with Lam Yui

Chicken Rice Wine soup


Stuffed tofu - Panfried

Assorted niang tofu and vegetables

Stuffed Bitter Melon


Abacus seeds (yam balls with mushroom and shrimp)

Taro Rice

Savoury meat rice dumpling

Steamed rice dumplings with sweet bean filling and syrup

Ground thunder tea

Steamed cakes (bpun)

Dao ma chet Noodles

Hakka Festive Meals Specially for the guests

Poon Choi (many goodies in a basin)


Hakka Rice Wine Making glutinous rice wine from scratch

Dishes with rice wine lee (fermented red sorghum from rice wine residue)


Vegetables Spicy Eggplant stir fry with minced meat, basil and mint

Panfried Bitter melon (fu gua)

Bitter gourd stew with ribs and prawn

Spinach Soup

Okra / ladies’ fingers


Spicy Eggplant stir fry with minced pork, basil and mint

Stir Fry Sweet Potato Leaves with different types of sauces

Fish and Meat Stuffed Bitter Gourd

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Documentary on Hakka people (kejia)

Mega 100 series documentary on the Hakkas -  客家足迹行

Chicken rice recipe handed down from a Hakka Grandpa


Granddad was at one time a company cook who whips up huge portions of meals for the employees. When he emigrated to Southeast Asia as an adult, he brought along home cooking skills he learned from the the vibrant southern province of China he was raised.

Ingredients :
Chicken fillet from whole chicken (breast and thigh meat)cut into small pieces
Dried black shitake mushroom (soaked for 2 hours, change water half way through), slice into quarters
Ginger slices
Garlic (2) cloves wash and dry, leave unpeeled & uncut
Long-grain rice : 2 1/2  cups
Cooking oil
Chicken stock or water (3 cups)
Sesame oil (1 TBS)
Lemongrass (optional) remove root, smash the white portion and cut the green stalk into segments

- Marinate chicken in soy sauce & pepper. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Wash rice and drain.
- Fry garlic cloves, mushroom, chicken and ginger (in this order) till fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Fry uncooked rice and add chicken stock or water little by little to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
- Return chicken meat, mushroom, garlic and ginger. (Add lemongrass if available or preferred)
- Add in remaining water or stock till it covers just above the rice.
- Cover and cook in medium low heat for 15 - 20 minutes
- When ready, drizzle some sesame oil, stir and fluff the rice. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bitter Melon with fish and meat stuffing

Adherents of Chinese medical herbal history (TCM) believe that bitter gourd has many health benefits. Not only does it reduce blood pressure, it helps to neutralise effects of insects stings / bites, cool down heaty sore throat and promote healthy, clear and glowing skin.

Moreover, heed the old addage : one who eats bitterness (endure hardships) would become more successful in future.

Originally special dish of Hakkas, many other Chinese and non-Chinese are loving it.

Method :

For 2 bitter melons (cooling bitter gourd)
Cut each bitter melon into 3 large pieces.
Remove the seeds at the core with a teaspoon.
Cut bitter gourd into smaller 2 cm thick rings.
Soak in salt water for at least 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and drain.

The filling is very much the same as niang doufu (yong tofu) :

- Fish paste 2 cups (from firm white fish meat, deboned, chopped, blended)
or frozen ready made from speciality supermarkets

- Pork mince 1/2 cup

- chopped spring onion

Season according to taste : pepper, salt and brown sugar
(less salt is needed if using ready made fish paste)

The most common method of cooking the bitter melon is pan frying with a little oil.

Alternatively, grill the stuffed melon in an oven briefly, cook in microwave (less tasty), use combination cooking in a convection microwave oven, bake in oven at 150 C for at least 30 minutes.

Sauce (optional)

1. Fry chopped garlic and shallot with vegetable oil in a saucepan till fragrant.

2. Mix a solution of oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil with tapioca starch and water.

3. Pour the mixture into the pan and simmer till lightly boil, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from developing.

Stir Fry Sweet Potato Leaves - Variations of Sauces Dressing

Fan Shu Ye or Sweet Potato Leaves (sometimes also known as "yam leaves") stir fry is considered a "poor man's food" because they are usually easy to grow in the backyard and sprout rapidly to give an abundant yield to cook a huge serving of vegetable dish for the family.

The young leaves of the humble sweet potato are usually tender. As for the stalks, break gently and peel the fibrous outer "skin" for a crunchier texture.

The base of each stalk is usually thick and not as palatable especially for children and older folks. Do not discard them. Keep in a moist place and wait for roots to grow. Then plant them in a large terracotta pot or in the garden. Whenever you need to cook sweet potato leaves, just cut the younger leaves and shoots. New shoots will grow no sooner.

After washing and draining the leaves. Prepare the ingredients for stir fry.

The ingredients for a basic recipe are garlic cloves (chopped), cooking oil, 1/2 tsp of soy sauce. Fry the garlic in oil till fragrant, add sweet potato leaves, stir fry for 1 minute and add seasoning.

Sweet potato leaves go well with different types of sauces. The following are some suggestions that are commonly used for home cooking.

Variation 1 : Belachan Sauce
Chopped Garlic
Pound fresh chilli (from 2 birds eye chillies)
Thumb size Malaysian belachan (shrimp paste mashed and toasted)
Dried shrimp (1 TBS washed & drained)
Fish sauce (1 tsp)
* Mix belachan with
* Just heat up cooking oil, fry garlic, dried shrimp,

Variation 2 : Nonya Coconut Milk Recipe
As in the above recipe (omit belachan)
Add one cup of coconut milk (not cream) after a quick fry of the vegetables.
Turn off heat when the gravy boils shortly.

Variation 2 : Salty Yellow Bean Sauce
Fry garlic in oil heated oil (not too hot or else it gets burnt and char easily). Add lightly mashed salty yellow beans (1 TBS). Put in the vegetables and give it a few quick swirls and toss. Add brown sugar according to taste.

Variation 4 : Oyster Sauce
Heat up oil and fry garlic. Stir fry the vegetable in medium heat.
Once the vegetable is cooked, add oyster sauce.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cleaver Cut Flat Noodles Soup - dao ma chet 刀嬷切

Savouring this Hakka dish is a nostalgic trip down memory lane. You can literally taste and smell the aroma from food stalls in the markets of the far east.

I used ready made northern Chinese noodles "dao xiao mian"刀削麵 bought from the chilled section of Asian supermarket. It may be slightly thinner than Hakka "dao ma chet" 刀嬷切 but a good substitute that is easy to boil. Smooth and chewy.

If you are adventurous, try making the noodles from scratch with flour, water and alkaline water. Knead till pliable and round the dough. Let it rest (covered) for 1 hour. Knead, flatten, fold into waves, cut thinly with large sharp knife. As self explanatory from the name, the Hakka noodles are sliced thinly with a cleaver while the latter is shaved.

Recipe :

Prepare the soup using 2 bowls of chicken stock and 2 bowls of anchovy stock. (Tip : Korean made pure ground anchovy powder in muslin bag tastes natural and better than granules.) Add a little salt, brown sugar, pepper and light soy sauce according to taste.

Vegetables : carrots, mushrooms, small block of soy bean curd (firm) and baby bok choy (preferably the type with white and succulent stems that won't become soft easily when cooked).

Meat ingredients : thinly sliced chicken fillet, pork or beef, deveined prawns, fish fillet, fish ball, hard boiled egg.
(Optional : stir fry pork or chicken mince in a little oil and and oyster sauce and set aside as a topping.)

When soup is almost boiling, blanch the vegetable ingredients and set aside. Season with dark soy sauce and sesame oil.

While the soup is simmering, boil another pot of water for blanching the noodles. Separate the noodles before putting into the boiling water. When noodles turn a little translucent, it is cooked. Drain well and dish up into a bowl with a little oil.
Garnish and Condiments : fried crispy anchovy, fried garlic, fried shallot, spring onion, toasted seaweed, fried chilli paste in oil, dark vinegar with ginger slices. (Optional but highly recommended as all these would enhance the taste of a simple noodle soup).

To serve :
Put desired portion of cooked noodles in a bowl.

Pour hot soup over the noodles and let it steep for 5 seconds.

Then top with condiments and sauces as you wish.


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Did Hakka originate from Huns or Xiongnu?

It is possible that

some Xiongnu disguised as Han and move to the south with the Han. Many Han aristocrats also had hundreds to thousands of Xiongnu servants and soldiers.

Hakka language was probably spoken by many Han Chinese in central China. A Hun language would not have survived under hostile political conditions.
Even if some Hakkas were Xiongnu, their language, behavior must be totally integrated with Han to survive this era. Culturally speaking, if certain Hakka were Xiongnu decendents, they should be totally indistinguishable from the Hans.
It is not impossible, but unlikely that 400 years can upgrade the identity and class of Xiongnu to equal the Hans.

Source : Asiawind Hakka History