- 2 small bundles bean thread noodles
- 10g black moss (fat choy)
- ¼ cup dried wood ears
- 5 medium-sized dried Chinese mushrooms
- 2 dried bean curd sticks
- 1 handful dried lily buds
- 6–8 tofu puffs, halved
- 2–3 cups chopped Chinese cabbage
- 3–5 slices peeled ginger
- 2 stalks spring onion
- 2 tbsp neutral-flavoured cooking oil
- 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce (use regular if not strictly vegetarian)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup water, from soaking the dried mushrooms
- sliced lotus root
- sliced pak choi
- baby corn
- sliced celery
- sliced carrot
- bamboo shoots
- water chestnuts
Soaking the dried ingredients:
- Soak the Chinese mushrooms in about 1½ cups hot water for at least 3 hours (overnight is best).
- Soak the wood ears, dried bean curd sticks and lily buds in warm water for at least 3 hours.
- Mix all ingredients well and set aside.
Preparing the ingredients:
- Soak the bean thread noodles and black moss for 10–15 minutes in warm water, making sure the noodles are completely submerged.
- Remove the rehydrated Chinese mushrooms from the soaking water, reserving 1 cup of the liquid for cooking.
- Trim the tough stems off the mushrooms and cut the caps in half.
- Drain the wood ears and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Drain the bean curd and cut into about 1½-inch lengths.
- Drain the lily buds. Snip off the tough tips with scissors or cut off with a knife and tie each lily bud into a knot.
- Cut the cabbage into about 1½-inch pieces.
- Cut the spring onion into about 2-inch lengths.
- Heat a large pan or wok over medium-high heat.
- Add the cooking oil.
- Add the sliced ginger and spring onion and sauté quickly for about 30 seconds.
- Add the Chinese mushrooms, bean curd and wood ears. Mix.
- Add the tofu puffs and lily buds. Mix.
- Stir the sauce and add to the pan. Add 1 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and mix.
- Add the cabbage and mix. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 4–5 minutes.
- Uncover and add the drained noodles and black moss. Use two utensils to help to thoroughly mix the noodles into all the ingredients.
- Continue tossing and mixing until the noodles are well coated in the sauce and the sauce has mostly been absorbed.
- All the ingredients should be ready to go before you start cooking as everything happens very quickly.
- The dried ingredients are best found at an Asian supermarket or local market specialising in Asian products.
- All quantities of the ingredients can be adjusted or omitted to your preference and taste.
- Regular oyster sauce can be substituted for vegetarian oyster sauce if you are not strictly vegetarian. It can also be omitted, if desired.
- Dark soy sauce is very strong in flavour and also darkens the overall colour of the jai, so it is best used sparingly.
- Adjust the sauce ingredients according to your personal taste.
- The mushroom soaking liquid can be replaced with vegetable broth or water.
- Don’t worry about all the liquid in the pan before adding the noodles; the noodles will end up soaking it up very quickly once they are added.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat either by steaming or in the microwave.
- Leftovers can also be frozen in ziplock freezer bags with most of the air squeezed out.
- For the full recipe with step-by-step instructions and images, visit the recipe on my website.