Updated: May 22, 2022
I have no idea who invented this dish. Or in fact, I do not remember whether it is my mum or my grandmother. Either way, remaking this is like walking down a memory lane. My mum would make chicken and dried shrimp stock the day before and use that stock to make this dish.
She would shred the whole chicken by hand and cook it with vermicelli, yam and stock. And if she fancy something lush, she would top the dish with store-bought Chinese BBQ ribs. "If" that is. As I learn more and more about cooking and being a rebel, I take the whole concept, remove the elements I dislike and flip it upside down into my own version. A vegan version.
Who knows? Maybe in the future, I will do the meat version? Anyway, I steamed the yam separately cos I find that it actually cooks faster than cooking it together with the stock. I am not using any meat or dried shrimps, so I have to borrow flavors from dried mushrooms, kombu and miso to stack flavors.
As for the Chinese BBQ ribs, I made some smoked oyster mushrooms. Do not skip the shatta tho. Other than the yam and vermicelli, this is her signature style of serving this dish, You can use any green chili paste or sauce; sambal hijau and chimichurri work really well too.
If you can't get your hands on dried vermicelli, you can try using some angel hair pasta. I hope you will give this recipe a try and slurp away some yummiliciousness.
Sea Salt, Pinch
Granulated Sugar, 1 TSP
Ground Cumin, 1 TSP
Chili Flakes, 1 TSP Adjust To Preference
White Pepper, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Garlic Powder, 1/2 TSP
Chinese 5 Spice Homemade, 1 TSP
Mushroom Powder, Pinch
Oyster Mushrooms, 150g
Yam / Taro, 1kg
Dried Mushrooms, 6
Vegetable Stock Homemade, 2L
Miso, 1 TBSP
High Quality Olive Oil, 2 TBSP
Soy Sauce, 2 TBSP
Yellow Onions Finely Chopped, 1
Sea Salt, Pinch
White Pepper, Pinch
Granulated Sugar, Pinch
Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves
Ginger Finely Minced, 1"
Vermicelli Dried, 400g
Shatta Homemade, For Serving
Toasted Sesame Oil, For Serving
White Soy Sauce, For Serving
Scallions Finely Chopped, For Garnishing
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Smoker (I'm using Nordic Ware's Personal Size Stovetop Kettle Smoker)
Please visit my "How To Make Vegetable Stock" page for the recipe.
Please visit my "How To Make Chinese 5 Spice" page for the recipe.
Please visit my "How To Make Shatta" page for the recipe.
Prepare the smoked mushrooms.
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients.
Toss to combine well, making sure the mushrooms are well coated.
Set aside in the fridge for at least 1hr.
While the mushrooms are marinating, prepare the soup.
Peel, coarsely chop and wash the yam thoroughly.
Transfer onto a steamer and steam for 8 to 10 mins or until fork tender.
Remove from heat and set aside.
It will firm up when it starts to cool.
In a large pot over low heat, add the vegetable stock.
Bring it up to a slow simmer.
Add in the mushrooms and kombu.
Slow simmer for about 15 mins or until the dried mushrooms are hydrated and the kombu is soft.
Fish out the mushrooms and kombu while still keeping the stock on a slow simmer.
Once the mushrooms and kombu are cool enuff to handle, finely dice the mushrooms.
Roll the kombu like a cigar and finely slice.
Set aside until ready to use.
At this point, the mushrooms should be ready to smoke.
Prepare a smoker as per manufacturing instructions and smoke the mushrooms.
While the mushrooms are smoking, add the steamed yam into the stock.
in a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.
Once the oil is heated up, add in the onion.
Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Saute until lightly caramelized.
Add in garlic and ginger. Saute until aromatic.
Add in the diced mushrooms and saute until lightly caramelized.
Add in a ladle of that stock and deglaze.
Continue cooking until the liquid has almost evaporated.
Add this mixture and the sliced kombu into the stock.
*Remember to check on that mushrooms. It should be done at this point.*
Season with salt and white pepper.
Stir to combine well.
Slow simmer for about 5 to 8 mins.
Add a serving of vermicelli into the stock and cook until al dente, about 3 to 5 mins.
Add 1 TBSP of shatta onto serving bowls.
Add in 2 ladles of that stock, together with the yam, mushrooms and kombu.
Fish out the cooked vermicelli and onto the serving bowl.
Drizzle 1 TBSP each of toasted sesame oil and white soy sauce over the top.
Garnish with some of that smoked mushrooms and scallions.
Repeat the steps for the remaining 3 servings.
In case you are wondering, this is what yam looks like...
Every mouthful is nostalgic...