Stir-fried Cai Xin with Fish Cake – Delishar

Wanted to make dinner, but was a tad too tired to walk to the market, plus the haze was terrible which made me want to hibernate indoors. But my food supply was low as it’s the end of the week, so what do I do? Raid the fridge and make whatever is available of course!During my fridge raiding quest, I found some treasures. A rack of frozen baby back ribs, watercress, chicken legs, a piece of fish cake, and a pack of cai xin / choy sum.


This was what I came up with, after some time in the kitchen. With watercress, it’ll definitely be soup, but I’m not wasting a beautiful rack of ribs for the soup. Additionally, 2 chicken legs isn’t enough to feed the 2 + 2 of us. So I used the chicken legs to make Watercress Chicken Soup (Recipe will be shared later). Transformed the ribs into Honey Hoisin Ribs (Recipe will be shared later too). 

At first, I was just thinking of pan-frying the cai xin with garlic because I didn’t think the fish cake has any part to play in the whole meal. But I thought, what the hell. What’s the worst thing that can happen if I mix it up a bit tonight? So I threw it in the mix, and made a starchy white sauce to bring everything together. Oh boy am I glad I did that! The girls loved it, and I adored that pan-fried golden fish cakes! Definitely a play of texture to the dish, and made a boring stir-fried Chinese greens a little more exciting.

The white sauce in this recipe is versatile, and can be used for any stir-fried greens. Broccoli + scallops/prawns, mixed vegetable, or even as a sauce over steamed fish/chicken.  


Cai Xin with Fish Cake


Serves 2-4 in a multi-course meal

  • 1 pack / bunch of cai xin / choy sum cut into 2 inch length
  • 1 piece fish cake sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp wine
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • soy or fish sauce to taste
  • dash of white pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp corn flour
  • Mix all the ingredients for sauce together.

  • Heat pan on medium high, and add oil.

  • Stir-fry ginger until fragrant, then add fish cake to brown both sides.

  • Then add garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

  • Add cai xin, stir-fry until wilted.

  • Pour in sauce, and allow to thicken.

  • Remove from heat and garnish.

Cai Xin Fish Cake 2

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Pen Cai (盆菜) – Delishar

Chinese New Year is just around the corner. My foodie friends have been busy with their preparation. I am seeing many very lovely looking zodiac shaped sweet treats to usher in the year of the Dog. The usual suspects that we will find at reunion dinner and Lunar new year celebrations are pineapple tarts, love letters, bak kwa, steamed or fried fish, and roast meat, just to name a few. One of the most prominent dish and perhaps the most luxurious has got to be the famous Pen Cai.

It’s a one-pot goodness loaded with layers and layers of ingredients. Ingredients such as abalone, dried oysters, scallops, prawns, sea cucumber, fish maw and many more. There’s no hard and fast rule what exactly to use in your pen cai, each family has their own way of making it. 

My mom would use dried scallops, dried oyster, braised abalone, fish maw, Chinese sausage, and all kinds of roast meat. I prefer using fresh ingredients and keeping it somewhat cleaner. Only using ingredients that are easily available, little to no-prep, and with ingredients that most people would eat. Additionally, I made a much smaller Pen Cai for my small family. But the recipe is adaptable to feed a large group. I’d like to think of mine as a modernised version with the help of Mizkan‘s Pork Bone and Soy Sauce Soup Base.

The ready to use broth is already extremely delicious on its own (no kidding!). Can you imagine the magic that happened after adding layers of ingredients with fresh seafood into the broth? It was so good. SOOOOO GOOD! I was slurping on it non-stop. haha! 

Oh, before I forget. Some of you wrote me to ask where to purchase Mizkan’s soup base after my previous post using their Sesame & Soymilk Soup Base. You can find their soup base at Fairprice, Cold Storage, and Redmart. Now, let me show you how easy it is to put this together.  

Get all your ingredients ready. I blanched my broccoli, but you can also cook it in the broth.

Heat sesame oil over medium heat and add garlic and ginger to cook until fragrant.

Then layer with cabbage and sliced daikon.

Add in fresh mushrooms and top with Pork Bone and Soy Sauce Soup Base until just covering cabbage.

Cover and bring to boil. Then lower heat to medium-low to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add in prawns, scallops, and abalone. Cover and bring back to boil. Then allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Pour in slurry to thicken sauce then remove from heat. Rearrange ingredients, then top with roast pork, and broccoli. Enjoy!!

Pen Cai (盆菜)


Serves 2-4

  • 360 ml Mizkan Pork Bone & Soy Sauce Soup Base
  • 30 ml Mizkan Pork Bone & Soy Sauce Soup Base + 2 tbsp cornflour or tapioca starch
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 3-4 slices ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 abalone
  • 6 scallops
  • 4 tiger prawns
  • 3 napa cabbage leaves chopped
  • 8-10 slices of daikon radish
  • 2-4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • Handful of blanched broccoli
  • 150 g roast pork
  • Stir together cornflour and 30ml of soup base. Set aside.

  • Heat pot over medium heat.

  • Add garlic + ginger and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

  • Layer in napa cabbage, daikon radish, and mushrooms.

  • Pour in Mizkan soup base, cover, and bring to boil.

  • Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 12 minutes.

  • Add in scallops, prawns, and abalone.

  • Cover and bring back to a boil. Then cook for 3-5 minutes.

  • Pour in prepared slurry, stir and allow soup base to thicken.

  • Remove from heat, rearrange ingredients together with roast post & blanched broccoli.

  • Serve immediately and enjoy!!

Mizkan’s soup base can be found at Fairprice, Cold Storage, and Redmart.
Making a larger batch? Just double or triple the ingredients accordingly.

This post is in collaboration with Mizkan Asia. However, all opinion are of my own. 

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