Today in My 三菜一汤 Kitchen series, let's talk about Teochew Muay ("muay" is Teochew for Porridge). It is different from Jook, the Cantonese name for porridge or congee. Jook is like a thick soup with ingredients like minced meat, century egg served in the porridge making it a one-dish meal. Unlike Jook, the Teochew Muay is plain and more watery when cooked (more like rice in a watery gruel) and we eat the muay together with many separate simple dishes. Teochew Muay has its roots in China where in the old days, which was served with food more like peasant's fare, with cheap dishes like boiled peanuts, salted eggs, preserved cai xin etc. The cooking style is simple, usually boiled, blanched with soya sauce as the basic seasoning condiment.
I'm half Teochew, so in my household, we do not mind having Teochew Porridge sometimes, especially during a weekend lunch or on a rainy day. So what dishes do we usually have with our Teochew Muay? There are 1001 simple dishes which can accompany the plain teochew muay perfectly. I will introduce 4 dishes below.
Cai Por Egg. Cai Por means preserved radish. This dish is basically adding fried Cai Por in the beaten eggs, and fry them. The Cai Por gives the fried egg a little fragrant savoury taste to this simple dish.
Stir-Fry Beanprouts with Cuttlefish. I am personally not a fan of beansprouts, especially when it is cooked in noodles soup. It is more palatable when it is stir fried. We usually stir fry the beansprouts with cuttlefish, and fresh tomatoes. However, in this instance, I did not have tomatoes. I found this unusual plum in the fridge which was way too sour to eat raw. So I decided to use it here instead - it added a tangy taste to the dish!
Fried Ikan Kuning (Small Fish). The ikan kuning is simply marinated lightly with salt and fried. My mom told us that in the old days, when my grandma had 9 kids to feed, she could not afford big fishes at each meal. So the kids only got to eat little fried fish like this. However, in these modern days, my sis and myself actually LIKE to eat these fried ikan kuning to go with our porridge! Each of us can finish at least 2 fishes at one go.
Braised Pig Trotters. I have not mastered this dish compared to my mom. The method of braising pork trotters with dark and light soya sauce for a few hours results in a flavourful dish of melt-in-the-mouth skin, tendon, cartilage and meat (it is collagen-rich). This dish with its gravy goes very well with plain porridge. Sometimes together with the pig trotters, we add hard boiled eggs or tau pok (fried brown beancurd).