Apr 7, 2013

Tjap Tjoy

Tjap Tjoy

This is a great example of a Chinese dish that goes by several names, depending on your geographic location. Chinese restaurants in the Netherlands call this Tjap Tjoy, but it’s comparable to the American Chop Suey, even though my version doesn’t call for soy sauce.

I’ve always been intrigued by Chinese dishes that have little to do with authentic Chinese food. These recipes are about as Americanized and Dutchified as they get, but that doesn’t make them any less tasty, though.

Here’s my Dutch-Chinese version. It’s a light dish chockfull of fresh, crunchy stir-fried vegetables in a very basic and mellow sauce.

The stunning wooden HK Living plates were provided by Fonq.

 
Ingredients:

1 pound velveted chicken breast
1 medium onion
1 medium leek
1 large carrot
1 small garlic clove
1 green bell pepper
1/3 cucumber
1/4 cup bamboo shoots
1 cup bean sprouts
2 1/2 cups vegetable bouillon
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 heaping tsp sweet hoisin sauce
(or regular hoisin + a pinch of brown sugar)
roasted Sichuan pepper salt (or regular salt)
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 3 tbsp water
2 tbsp peanut oil

 
Optional:
4 to 5 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp Ve-tsin (if you want the ‘real’ restaurant version)

 

Directions:

Make sure you drain the velveted chicken well. Hot wok + water drops = trouble.
Tjap Tjoy

 
Traditionally you add mushrooms to tjap tjoy, but c’mon, who wants to be traditional? Okay, so I ran out of them. Shucks. Add 4 or 5 oz sliced mushrooms if you want to.
 

Gather all your ingredients. The trick is to keep everything you need within arms reach.
Tjap Tjoy

Peel and thinly slice the carrot. Or have someone else do it, like I did.
Tjap Tjoy

Turn the bell pepper into thin strips, slice the leek in rings, turn the onion into wedges and peel the layers apart.
Tjap Tjoy

 
Remember that slicing and dicing is supposed to be zen, as you work your way through all the veggies while murmuring through your teeth you’ll never make another one of my recipes again. The stir-frying itself goes wicked fast, I promise!
 

Peel the cucumber, remove the seeds and slice it into half moons or strips.
Tjap Tjoy

Mix the hot vegetable bouillon with the minced garlic and fish sauce.
Tjap Tjoy

Add the sweet hoisin sauce and stir well. Use regular hoisin sauce with a pinch of brown sugar otherwise.
Tjap Tjoy

Whisk the corn starch with the water until it’s lump-free. Whisk again right before adding it to the sauce.
Tjap Tjoy

 
Get your wok super hot! Hot wok, cool oil. That should be your mantra.
 

Pour in the oil and immediately add the carrot and bell pepper. Wok for a minute.
Tjap Tjoy

Add the onions and give it another minute.
Tjap Tjoy

Add the chicken strips and wok for 2 to 3 minutes. All this over really high heat!
Tjap Tjoy

 
If you wok is smaller than mine, you might even want to consider stir-frying in batches!
 

Add your bamboo shoots and give it one more minute.
Tjap Tjoy

In with the bean sprouts and cucumber. These should not be stir-fried for longer than, say, 30 seconds.
Tjap Tjoy

Pour in the hot bouillon, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.
Tjap Tjoy

Add the slurry (whisk first) and season with the roasted Sichuan pepper salt or regular salt.
Tjap Tjoy

 
In my very humble opinion, the Sichuan pepper salt is what makes this dish taste exactly like it does in our restaurants! But then again, they also add MSG (Ve-Tsin) there and I don’t.
 

Spoon over steamed rice and dig in. This is my kinda spring comfort food.
Tjap Tjoy

Tjap Tjoy
Ingredients
    1 pound velveted chicken breast (recipe can be found at the site)
    1 medium onion
    1 medium leek
    1 large carrot
    1 small garlic clove
    1 green bell pepper
    1/3 cucumber
    1/4 cup bamboo shoots
    1 cup bean sprouts
    2 1/2 cups vegetable bouillon
    1 tbsp fish sauce
    1 heaping tsp sweet hoisin sauce
    (or regular hoisin + a pinch of brown sugar)
    roasted Sichuan pepper salt or regular salt (recipe can be found at site)
    2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 3 tbsp water
    2 tbsp peanut oil

    Optional:

    4 to 5 oz sliced mushrooms
    1/4 tsp Ve-tsin (if you want the ‘real’ restaurant version)

Directions
    If you have a small wok you can also stir-fry things in batches!

    Make sure you drain the velveted chicken well! Peel and thinly slice the carrot. Turn the bell pepper into thin strips, slice the leek in rings, turn the onion into wedges and peel the layers apart. Peel the cucumber, remove the seeds and slice it into half moons or strips.

    Mix the hot vegetable bouillon with the minced garlic, fish sauce and sweet hoisin sauce. Whisk the corn starch with the water until it’s lump-free. Whisk again right before adding it to the sauce.

    Get your wok super hot! Hot wok, cool oil. Pour in the oil and immediately add the carrot and bell pepper. Wok for a minute.. Add the onions and give it another minute before adding the chicken and stir-frying everything for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bamboo shoots and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the bean sprouts and cucumber.

    Pour in the hot bouillon, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the slurry (whisk first) and season with the roasted Sichuan pepper salt or regular salt.

Meal type: Chinese Food, Poultry, Wok
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com
Jul 15, 2012

Foe Yong Hai

It must have been in the late eighties when I—sixteen years young and ready to conquer the world—was taken on my first romantic dinner, ever. We went to a lovely Chinese restaurant. Up to this day I’m still not sure if it was the being young and in love that made this so memorable, or that the food was really all that great. Either way, I not only fell in…