Nonya-Style Mixed Vegetables

Chap Chai


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings as part of a multi-dish meal

Appears in

Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia & Singapore

Southeast Asian Flavors

By Robert Danhi

Published 2008

  • About

This is a treasure chest of vegetables and noodles, with different shapes, colors, and textures that glisten with flavor. Ground bean sauce (tau cheong) adds depth of flavor. To make it a vegetarian main course, use vegetarian oyster sauce or soy sauce, and omit the shrimp. To give the dish a more ornate look make lengthwise grooves in carrots before slicing, creating a flower-like shape. The sambal belacan chili paste adds a third dimension to this straight forward dish. The dish often includes dried bean curd.


  • 6 Dried Chinese black mushrooms, soaked overnight, liquid reserved
  • ½ cup (½ oz. / 14 g.) Dried wood ear fungus, soaked 30 minutes, liquid discarded
  • ¼ cup (1 oz. / 28 g.) Dried lily buds, soaked 30 minutes
  • 1 oz. (half of 2 oz. bundle / 28 g.) Dried cellophane noodles
  • ¼ cup Vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground bean sauce or Brown bean sauce
  • 1 medium Carrot, sliced on angle, ⅛ inch (0.3cm.) thick
  • 4 cups Green cabbage, 1-inch (2.5 cm.) pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. Oyster sauce or soy sauce
  • ½ lb. (227 g.) Small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup Scallions pieces, inch (about 3.8 cm.)
  • 1 tsp. Sesame oil
  • as needed Sambal belacan


  1. Prepare the dried ingredients: Cut soaked mushrooms into halves and quarters, depending on size. Cut any hard nodules off from wood ear fungus, and cut the fungus into bite-size strips, ½ inch (0.6 cm.) thick. Cut hard ends off the lily buds, and tie the buds into individual knots. Cover the cellophane noodles with boiling water; soak for 5 minutes. Rinse in cool water, and drain well.
  2. Cook the vegetables: Heat oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger; cook 1 minute until aromatic but not brown. Add the ground bean sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add carrots, cabbage, oyster sauce, mushrooms, wood ears, lily buds, and 1 cup of mushroom soaking liquid; cook stirring constantly until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp; continue to stir-fry until cooked through. Fold in noodles, scallions, and sesame oil; cook until noodles are hot and tender. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt to taste.