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Braised Fish Maw with Mushrooms

Braised Fish Maw with Mushrooms

braised-fish-maw-with-mushrooms4.jpg

Chinese New Year is around the corner! Come February 8 2016, Chinese communities all around the world will be celebrating the coming of the brand spanking new Year of the Monkey, with well wishes and wonderfully delicious food flooding noisy households. This braised fish maw and mushrooms recipe is a dish that my mother never fails to whip up every CNY. About a month before Chinese New Year, local supermarkets will start pushing out traditional "Chinese New Year ingredients" such as Black Moss ("Faat Choy/發菜"), Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Fish Maw, Dried Mushrooms, Arrowhead ("qi gu/刺菇"), Rice Cake ("nian gao/年糕") etc. All of which are considered delicacies that are only eaten during Chinese New Year as a celebratory treat.

My mum and I absolutely LOVE fish maw, the texture of it is very similar to a sponge and as such it is able to absorb any broth or sauce that it is cooked in perfectly. With every bite that you take of the fish maw, amazing flavours just BURST out of it onto your palate, it is truly delicious. The next best thing about this amazing dish is that is it oh-so-simple to make - braising is really a wonderful way to get the most flavour out of simple ingredients with minimum effort. The toughest thing about this braised fish maw with mushrooms recipe is the waiting time, it takes about 45 minutes for the dish to be cooked to perfection but it is totally worth every second!

Braised Fish Maw with Mushrooms
Braised Fish Maw with Mushrooms

The protein used in this recipe is pork leg meat that has a substantial amount of lean meat but also a generous amount of fat and a thick layer of skin on top. Pork skin is loaded with collagen which is all the rage here in Asia because of its effectiveness in fighting the effects of ageing. Coincidentally, fish maw is also packed with collagen and when cooked together, the pork leg meat and fish maw contributes to the sticky, thick sauce that you get in this dish. The mushrooms that my mum uses in this recipe are the dried ones, and she actually insists on using the dried ones every time because according to her, dried mushrooms are more flavourful. While doing some research into dried mushrooms vs fresh mushrooms, I found this page - "The Bold Flavors of Dried Mushrooms" that encapsulates everything that my mum has said over the many years about dried mushrooms, do give it a read.

Well, here is it, my mum's recipe for a Chinese New Year favourite - Braised Fish Maw with Mushrooms. I really hope you will enjoy it as much as I have over the many years of eating it.

  Braised Fish Maw with Mushrooms   Prep time: 25 mins  Cook time: 45 mins  Total time: 1 hour 10 mins  Serves: 4      Ingredients:   · 4 sticks of Fish Maw (dried)  · 10 Dried Mushrooms  · 300g Pork Leg Meat  · 4-5 Dried Oysters  · 4 cloves Garlic  ·  a knob of Ginger  2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce  · 1-1/2 to 2 cups Water     Instructions:  1) Start by soaking the dried mushrooms and fish maw in warm water, set  aside. It will take at least 15 minutes for the mushrooms to soften.  2) In the meantime, remove the skin of the garlic cloves and cut the ginger  into strips.  3) Cut the pork leg meat into slices measuring about half an inch and set  aside.  4) When the mushrooms have softened, heat up a medium pot with 2  tablespoons of vegetable oil and throw in the ginger and garlic.  5) Stir around until fragrant, then add the dried oysters, mushrooms, pork and  fish maw.  6) Move all the ingredients around in the pot for about 2-3 minutes, before  adding the oyster sauce.  7) After cooking everything for another minute, pour the water in, making sure  that the water is enough to cover all the ingredients.  8) When the water has come to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and  simmer for 45 minutes or until meat is tender.

Braised Fish Maw with Mushrooms

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Total time: 1 hour 10 mins

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

· 4 sticks of Fish Maw (dried)

· 10 Dried Mushrooms

· 300g Pork Leg Meat

· 4-5 Dried Oysters

· 4 cloves Garlic

·  a knob of Ginger

2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce

· 1-1/2 to 2 cups Water

 

Instructions:

1) Start by soaking the dried mushrooms and fish maw in warm water, set

aside. It will take at least 15 minutes for the mushrooms to soften.

2) In the meantime, remove the skin of the garlic cloves and cut the ginger

into strips.

3) Cut the pork leg meat into slices measuring about half an inch and set

aside.

4) When the mushrooms have softened, heat up a medium pot with 2

tablespoons of vegetable oil and throw in the ginger and garlic.

5) Stir around until fragrant, then add the dried oysters, mushrooms, pork and

fish maw.

6) Move all the ingredients around in the pot for about 2-3 minutes, before

adding the oyster sauce.

7) After cooking everything for another minute, pour the water in, making sure

that the water is enough to cover all the ingredients.

8) When the water has come to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and

simmer for 45 minutes or until meat is tender.



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