Sunday, 22 February 2015

Pen Cai 盆菜

This dish is not difficult to cook, just a lot of preparation work and it doesn't require a long cooking time. You can choose any ingredients that you like. They will taste good if the ingredients are fresh. There are layers for meat, vegetables and seafood.

I refer to Honey Bee Sweets - Pen Cai 2015 as a guide.

  • 1 can whole big abalone, sliced
  • Roast pork/roast duck
  • Fresh beancurd skin
  • 2 napa cabbage leaves, washed and leave whole
  • 8 dried shittake mushroom, soaked and sliced
  • 10 large tiger prawns, washed and deveined
  • 10 dried scallops, soaked for just a while (as I need it to be whole, but I think need to use fresh scallops instead as it's difficult to get dried scallops to stay intact when cooking or even after soaking it for a while.)
  • 8" ginger, peeled and minced
  • 8 gloves garlic, minced
  • 150g dried fish maw, soaked
  • 1 sprig spring onion
  • Chicken, cut
Seasoning for chicken:
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
Seasoning for prawns and scallops:
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Boil a pot of water. When the water boils, submerge the can of abalone into the pot. Let the can simmer in the water for about 3 hours. (I did this a day before.)
  2. After 3 hours, off the fire and let it cool completely in the water.
  3. Boil the chicken in a another pot of water until the chicken is cooked. Keep the chicken stock.
  4. Marinate the chicken with the chicken seasoning. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Heat up the pan with 2 tsp of cooking oil. 
  6. Add in half of the minced garlic and ginger and cook till fragrant.
  7. Add in the shittake mushrooms and stir fry for a couple minutes. 
  8. Add in the marinated chicken and cook till toasty brown. 
  9. Add in the chopped green onion and give it a stir before dishing out.
  10. Add in the 2 tsp of cooking oil and the remaining minced garlic and grated ginger into the cooking pan over medium fire. Cook till aromatic, Add in the prawns and scallops, cook till just turned pink/red.
  11. Boil the napa cabbage in the chicken stock for 1 minute. Set aside.
  12. Boil the fish maw in the chicken stock for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  13. Spread the chicken mushroom stir fry on the bottom of a claypot.
  14. Spread fish maw on the second layer.
  15. Spread the fresh bean curd on the third layer.
  16. Pour a bit of the chicken stock into the claypot.
  17. Spread napa cabbage as the fourth layer.
  18. Spread roast pork, prawns, abalone and scallops as the last layer.
  19. Pour in enough abalone stock to cover the ingredients.
  20. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.
1st layer

2nd layer

3rd layer

and DONE!!!


  1. Hi Nitya,

    Thanks for linking with us at Cook and Celebrate. I see lots of hor liao in your Pen Cai... You are very generous with the amount of good quality ingredients that you have added.


    1. Hi Zoe,

      Haha...yeah, once a year ma...and it's for own consumption so, we indulged a little bit...