Cantonese Pen Cai

Serving 6
Preparation Time 1 hr
Skill Advance

6 Prawns
1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
½ Ginger (sliced)
100g Broccoli Florets
½ Carrot (flower slices)
200g White Raddish
½ Napa Cabbage
50g Fish Maw
½ litre Chicken Stock
1 can Baby Abalone
10 Dried Chinese Mushroom
50g Dried Beancurd Skin
½ tbsp Wolfberries
3 tbsp Cornstarch
2pc Tau Kwa
¼ Roasted Duck Meat
200g Roasted Pork Belly
Handful of Fa Cai 发菜


(A) Steamed Prawns
Line a plate with ginger slices and arrange prawns on top. Drizzle Chinese wine. Steam for 4 minutes or until prawns are cooked. Set aside.

(B) Broccoli and Carrots
In a pot of boiling water, add broccoli and carrot slices. Blanch for 3 minutes. Take out carrots and set aside. Take out the broccoli and plunge immediately in a bowl of ice water (so that it will retain its bright green hue). Drain and set aside after 5 minutes.

(C) Napa Cabbage, Daikon and Fish Maw
Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add napa cabbage and as soon as they soften, take out and set aside (just about a minute). Add fish maw and daikon; simmer for 15 minutes or until fish maw is soft and daikon is translucent. Set aside.

(D) Abalone, Tau Kee, Mushrooms and Conpoy

  1. With the remaining chicken stock in the pot, blanch abalone in a slotted ladle for a few seconds until warmed. Set aside.
  2. Add dark soy sauce, and mushrooms/conpoy soaking water. Add mushrooms, tau kee and conpoy (use a slotted ladle to hold the conpoy so that they won’t disintegrate). Simmer tau kee for 10 minutes and take out. Set aside. Continue to simmer the mushrooms and conpoy for a further 10-20 minutes, or until softened. Make sure the conpoy remains intact and does not disintegrate. Any time the liquid runs dry, top up with more chicken stock.

(E) Sauce
Add abalone broth to the remaining chicken stock. Top up more chicken stock if you need more sauce. Add wolfberries and simmer for 3 minutes. Season to taste (you can use soy sauces, abalone sauce, rock sugar cubes and/or concentrated chicken stock). Thicken with cornstarch solution, a little at a time and stirring continuously, until the sauce reaches a semi-thick consistency.

(F) Assembling & Layering the Pen Cai

  1. Layer Pen Cai in the following order: napa cabbage(layer 1), tau kee (layer 2), daikon (layer 3), tau kwa and pork belly (layer 4), 3/4 of the fish maw (layer 5).
  2. Arrange fa cai, remaining fish maw, mushrooms and conpoy in a corner. Close lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Arrange the rest of the ingredients (abalone, prawns, roast duck, broccoli and carrots) to fill the top layer.
  4. Bring the remaining sauce to a boil and pour over the ingredients until the sauce is filled to the brim of the casserole.

Pair the dish with:

Sin Huat Highball Gin Recipe


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