Mui Choy (梅菜), or preserved mustard green, cooked with pork belly was one of my favourite childhood dishes. The traditional Hakka delight was a common dish on our dining table during my growing up years at my grandma's place. The slow-cooked melty pork belly slices and the sweet-salty pickled mustard greens tasted especially good after a few days of sitting and reheating and I could have bowls of rice or porridge just with this dish alone.
This Chinese New Year, I gave this humble dish a slight twist by using chicken instead of pork belly. Mui choy was stuffed into the cavity of a whole chicken and steamed for an hour until both the chicken and preserved vegetable were tender and flavourful.
Juice from the chicken, the sweet-salty pickle and the herbal flavour from the angelica (当归) and astragalus (北芪) roots made the brown gravy so super tasty. I want my rice now!
1 whole chicken
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
120g sweet mui choy
120g salted mui choy
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
Gravy2 slices angelica roots (当归)
3 slices astragalus roots (北芪)
350 ml water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Rinse and pat dry chicken. Coat the exterior of the whole chicken with dark soy sauce.
Heat oil for frying in a big wok over medium heat. Hold the chicken slightly above the wok (I use a S-hook). Using a laddle, scoop and drizzle oil over the chicken until skin starts to expand and separate from the meat and until golden brown but the meat not fully cooked through. (Do this carefully to avoid splattering of hot oil on you). Set aside.
Rinse mui choy to wash away the sugar/salt. Blanch washed mustard greens in boiling water for a few minutes. Rinse and soak in fresh water for at least another 10 minutes. This process thoroughly get rids of tiny sand particles.
Wring excess water from mustard greens. Chop the leafy portion to 1 cm length and the stem portion to half cm length. Stir fry the chopped mui choy with the seasoning until fragrant. Let cool.
Once cool, stuff the cavity of the chicken with the mui choy. Set aside.
Heat up a wok and add all the ingredients for the gravy. Bring to a boil and transfer the sauce mixture into a bowl big enough to place the whole chicken.
Steam the chicken in the bowl of sauce for an hour. Remove the chicken and pour out the soup.
Bring the soup to boil in a sauce pan and thicken it with corn starch mixture.
Place whole chicken in a serving dish and drizzle gravy over. Serve immediately.