Nai bai with dried shrimp stir fry

What is NAI BAI? I have no idea how it is written in Chinese but it sounds like 奶白- which directly translates into “milk white”. Perhaps the white stem of this vegetable is how it got its name. For one, I have eaten this dish less than 5 times in my life and it has never been cooked in my home, ever. Haha, I wonder why.

Anyway, I was looking at the vegetables on display at Isetan and the Nai Bais looked pretty good so I picked up a packet and (of course), searched for a recipe on the spot. At home, what you eat is dictated by the chef/cook. And I have a feeling my grandma may not be a fan of leafy green stir frys. The veggie dishes she cooks usually include more than one vegetable and some meat bits. (e.g. Snow peas, baby corn, carrots, pork bits and other stuff. YEZ, all that in one dish. >.<)

Thus, I was pleased to find this manageable recipe, of a vegetable I don’t usually get to eat. Even more glad that I had all the ingredients!! Even the dried shrimp, which was in the far (almost forgotten) corner of the fridge. Could definitely have been fresher. :p

Check out the photos of the ingredients + finished product before you decide whether you want to take a look at the recipe right at the bottom. :p

P1220192.JPGMy garlic and shrimp mashupP1220194.JPGBeautiful, crisp NAI BAI from Isetan ($2.30)P1220196.JPGP1220195.JPGIf you’re wondering why I have 2 photos of this dish, it’s because I didn’t know one packet of NAI BAI would fill two plates! My family of 4 usually eat only one plate of vegetables so I guess we had a healthier dinner that day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of nai bai (300g)
  • 25g dried shrimp
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 100ml hot water
  • 1 tsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • A dash of white pepper
  • A glug/sprinkle of Chinese wine
  • 1tbsp oil

Instructions:

  1. Rinse dried shrimp and soak in hot water for 15 min. Reserve the soaking liquid. Pat dry shrimps and mix with minced garlic. I pounded them together with a mortar. Figure this would save on cutting the garlic and mix the two well together.
  2. Heat oil in wok. When hot, add garlic+shrimp mix and fry for a few minutes till garlic is just turning light brown.
  3. Add veggies. Toss well with garlic+shrimp and cook for 2-3min. Keep tossing. Add reserve soaking liquid, light soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce and pepper. (I prepped those sauces in a small dish before I started frying.)
  4. Allow to cook for 1-2 min. Drizzle Chinese wine just before turning off flame.

Credits to Budget Pantry for the recipe.

Verdict:

Overall, a pretty light and healthy vegetable dish. My family finished both plates. Good job! HAHA. Would have been nicer if flavours were more complex, with regards to the sauce + shrimp flavouring but we shall get there some day.

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