Recipe

Poon Choi Recipe: Prosperity Dish For The Chinese New Year

Foodies, Lunar New Year is less than two days away, and reunion dinner is just tomorrow. We bet most of you are busy preparing all the ingredients for a sumptuous meal. We thought a pot of lavish Poon Chooi might add conversation to the table. Traditionally a Cantonese festive meal, today, Poon Choi is widely available in most Chinese restaurants to signify prosperity. We all know the dish can get very expensive, so why not make it yourself this year with this lavish Poon Choi recipe?

A Step-by-Step Poon Choi Recipe For The Lunar New Year:

A good pot of Poon Choi is usually filled to the brim with all sorts of ingredients to signify prosperity. Chinese will usually add expensive ingredients on the top to resemble wealth in a pot. They do not go too far from vegetables, meat, fish maw, prawns, abalone and more. Then again, you’re free to include or exclude any ingredients of your choice.

Ingredients:

(Serving: 6-8 pax)

Photo: eckitchensg (Website)
  • 150g Dried Fish Maw (Soaked and Soften)
  • 60g Dried Mushroom (Soaked and Soften – reserve soaking liquid)
  • 500g Fresh Sea Cucumber (Washed; Soaked and soften if using dried ones)
  • 1 kg Prawns
  • 250g Fresh Scallop
  • 1 kg Roast Meat (Roast pork, Duck, Chicken or mixture)
  • 1 Can Abalone
  • 300g Broccoli (Floret Only)
  • 1 Can Sea Asparagus
  • 150g Carrot (Peeled & Sliced)
  • 500g Napa Cabbage (Cut into Chunks)
  • 500g White Radish (Cut into Chunks)
  • 300 Fried Yam
The Broth:
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 2L Water (including reserved mushroom soaking liquid)
  • 120ml Oyster Sauce
  • 60ml Fish Sauce
  • 1tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2tsp Sugar
Finishing Touches:
  • 60ml Hua Tiao wine
  • 4tbsp Corn Flour
  • 4tbsp Water

Steps:

  1. Soak and prepare all ingredients in advance (fish maw, sea cucumber, mushroom & etc) and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heated pot over medium heat.
  3. Add chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add in water, mushroom, fish maw, cabbage, white radish and all other seasonings required for the broth.

    Photo: eckitchensg (Website)
  4. Bring it to boil over medium high heat then lower the fire to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Cook and blanch ingredients that needed to be cooked in the broth. Remove the ingredients when cooked and set aside for layering.

    Photo: eckitchensg (Website)
  6. Estimated Time (Varies based on size): Prawns and Scallops about 3 minutes. Broccoli about 15-20 seconds. Carrot about 2-3 minutes, sea cucumber about 3 minutes.
  7. Once all is done cooking, turn of the heat and set the broth aside.
  8. Ingredients that do not need to cook in broth: Roast meat, Abalone, Sea Asparagus, Fried Yam
Layering the Auspicious Pot
  1. In a clean pot, start with Napa Cabbage and White Radish.
  2. Then arrange the rest of the ingredients in section, based on your creativity or preference.
Finishing and Thickening of Broth:
  1. Once layering is done, set aside and bring the broth back to boil. Add Hua Tiao Wine and allow it to boil for a minute.
  2. Mix the corn flour and water in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the corn flour mixture into the boiling broth and stir while adding.
  3. Then, ladle the broth over the pot of layered ingredients.

    Photo: eckitchensg (Website)
  4. Once the ingredients are soaked in broth, bring the whole pot of Poon Choi back to the stove for a boil. Or, serve over induction hotplate.

Tips For The Perfectly Umami Poon Choi:

Photo: eckitchensg (Website)

While it does take up a lot of time and effort to make this dish, you’ll be surprised by the outcome. You’ll taste the flavor of home and togetherness when the whole family gather around to feast. Here’s a few tips: Remember to prepare all the ingredients beforehand, especially those that requires soaking for up to days. For example, fish maw, mushroom, sea cucumber and more. Some may take hours, some may take days depending on the quality of your ingredients.

Poon Choi is typically separated into 3 layers, with bottom layer filled with ingredients that can soak up the flavor and broth. Second layer is filled with ingredients that has lots of flavors and gravy. The expensive ones go on the top for presentation purposes. With this Poon Choi recipe, you can play around with the ingredients and come up with your desired pot of abundance and prosperity! Have fun making, and Happy Chinese New Year!

Recipe & Photo courtesy of: eckitchensg

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