Chinese New Year Veggie Platter

Steamed Aubergine
August 23, 2009
Mini Milky Pancakes
December 11, 2009

Chinese New Year dishes come early this time round. For those of you who will be preparing reunion dinner next February may want to give this recipe a go. It has all my favourite ingredients all in one platter.

Here I have chosen the pre-soaked sea cucumber which is springy in texture, not the hard and dried ones. Mainly because the hard dried ones need a long time to braise until edible. Truthfully, I don’t have that sort of time to spare with a toddler constantly looking for my attention. All the ingredient quantities below can be increased to suit the size of your platter, so the recipe I am giving today is based on the size of my platter.


1 small head of broccoli (cut into bite-size pieces)
1 small bundle of siew pak choy (small bok choy)
1 small packet of sweet peas (the side thread removed)
1 medium size carrot (make 4 fine slits at the side the carrot then sliced thinly to get the shape of a flower)
20 medium size dried shiitake mushrooms (pre-soaked in hot water and stems removed, drained)
12 fried round tofu balls (blanche in boiling water)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Oyster sauce
1 large sea cucumber
1 sprig of spring onions
3 slices of old ginger
100ml Chinese rice wine
500ml filtered water

Sauce Stock

2 large dried oysters (pre-soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, diced)
2 large dried scallops (wash under running water)
3 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp abalone sauce
5 slices of old ginger
100ml Chinese rice wine (Shao Hsing)
400ml filtered water
1 Tbsp cornflour (diluted in 2 Tbsp filtered water)
1 small packet of enoki mushrooms (bottom stems removed)
sea salt to taste


  1. Place the whole sea cucumber into a saucepan of boiling water with ginger slices, spring onions and rice wine. Boil sea cucumber for 10 minutes and remove from liquid. Discard boiling liquid. Leave sea cucumber aside to cool. Note, this process is to rid the sea cucumber of its sea smell. Please do not over boil the sea cucumber or there will be none left to eat. Once cool, slice sea cucumber into bite-size pieces and arrange on the platter.
  2. Sauce stock : Place the pre-soaked diced dried oyster, scallops and ginger slices into a saucepan, pour in the filtered water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 40 – 50 minutes or until scallops breaks up into small pieces. Add oyster sauce, abalone sauce, enoki mushrooms and cornflour dilution. Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce thickens. Cut off heat. Set aside.
  3. Heat a wok, drizzle in the olive oil, add chopped garlic, dried mushrooms, tofu balls and oyster sauce. Stir fry for 10 minutes. Ladle in 2 scoops of sauce stock and bring to simmer for 10 minutes or till the sauce thickens. Arrange the mushrooms and tofu balls on the platter. Any remaining stock can be added to the sauce stock.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil and add half a teaspoon of soda bicarbonate. Blanche all the vegetables and arrange on the platter. Blanching vegetables in soda bicarbonate water is to retain the fresh colour of the vegetables.
  5. Bring the sauce stock to boil again, add rice wine and salt to taste before pouring the sauce stock onto the veggie platter. Please make sure the sauce stock is not too watery.

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