Chinese Braised Sea Cucumber Recipe
Sea cucumber is marine dweller echinoderm. It has long body and big worm looking with leathery skin. It's widely consumed by Asian especially people of East Asian countries. It is considered as delicacy in Chinese cuisine with high medicinal properties; from treating arthritis to cancer. Sea cucumber also known as gamat (Malay) or tripang (Indonesia).
Sea cucumber has interesting texture. It is gelatinous, slippery and crunchy. It's no flavor and quite bland. It's available in dried form or pre-soaked in Chinese health store or supermarket. This pricey sea protein is usually take some works to fix. They need special care before the cooking process, especially if the dried form is used. The dried sea cucumber should be soak in water for at least 2 days with frequent water changes. The soaking time will depend on the size and quality of the sea cucumber. Then the softened sea cucumber should be clean especially the inside of the body. Use a knife to scrap any unwanted crust or other materials.
Traditionally, sea cucumber is prepared in braised dishes. This flavorless little tuber easily adopt seasonings and flavors from other ingredients. If you love something bizarre, then this dish could be for you, braised sea cucumber with pork and mushrooms, a common dish during Chinese New Year celebration.
What You Need
Serves 4 - 8
3/4 lbs dried sea cucumber
1 cup sliced pork
3 tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
1 piece of ginger, 1-inch, shredded
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup bamboo shoot, sliced
1/2 cup shrimp, chopped
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/3 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp canola oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese rice wine
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground pepper
How to Fix
- Soak the sea cucumber in water for 48 hours. Wash and rinse under cold running water. Drain. Then cut it into bite-size pieces.
- Boil the sea cucumber pieces in boiling water for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then drain.
- Boil 2 cups of water over high heat. Then add sliced pork, half of shredded ginger and half of chopped spring onions. Simmer for 3 minutes then drain.
- In a bowl, combine cooked pork and marinate ingredients (cornstarch, soy sauce and canola oil). Let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- Wash and rinse the shiitake mushroom. Soak it in warm water for 20 minutes. Cut off the stem. Drain.
- Dilute cornstarch with 1/3 cup of water. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, sugar and ground pepper. Set aside.
- In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil then add marinade pork . Stir-fry for about 2 minutes then remove to a dish.
- Use the same wok, heat the remaining 2 tablespoon of canola oil, garlic and remaining of shredded ginger, chopped spring onions and sea cucumber. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the sauce mixture. Continue to stir-fry for more couple minutes.
- Return the cooked pork into the wok, then add shiitake mushrooms. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add shrimp and bamboo shoots. Continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add cornstarch mixture. Then add sesame oil and salt.
- Taste and adjust the taste if necessary. Transfer to serving dish.