Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Taiwanese "flies' heads"台灣蒼蠅頭

Today's I will introduce to you a Taiwanese speciality with an unusual name called "chang ying tou" 蒼蠅頭 or in English "flies' heads". The flies' heads relate to bits of fermented black beans or dousi. This is a pungent, salty and spicy stirfry with chive flowers, pork and fermented black beans flavoured with some garlic and chillies. It's tasty with plain rice or eaten as part of a Chinese meal.


Can you visualise this with the dousi?

If you have never come across chive flowers here is a picture below. When selecting chive flowers find those with thicker stems where possible, the very fine thin ones usually quite stringy, the thicker ones are more tender and sweeter. If you cannot find chive flowers, garlic sprouts are equally good with this dish, as shown in the picture below. These vegetables are only available from Chinese or oriental supermarkets. If you don't like the pungent, oniony/garlicy taste of chive flowers/ garlic shoots, tender asparagus is a good mild substitute or green beans are good too.

The top bundle is garlic sprouts the bottom one is chive flowers.

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare. Just chop and stir fry, ready to eat within 10 - 15 minutes. This is the kind of cooking I like after work when I just want something quick.

Chang Ying Tou 蒼蠅頭, The recipe

Ingredients:
250 - 300 chive flowers (jiu chai hwa/ gau choi far) 韭菜花/ garlic sprout (suan tai) 蒜苔
200 - 250g minced/ground pork
1/3 cup loosely packed fermented black beans (dousi) 豆豉
2 - 3 large medium hot/ hot chillies, much as you like
3 - 4 cloves garlic
dash of cooking wine
dash of soy sauce
dash of oyster sauce
a little cooking oil
dash of sesame oil

Method:
  1. Trim off a bit of the end of the chive flowers. Cut the vegetable into tiny pieces. The flower part is edible too do not throw away. 
  2. Chop garlic and chilli
  3. Rinse black beans with a sieve, shake off excess water.
  4. Heat the wok till hot then add a little cooking oil. Heat high and add pork. Keep stirring and breaking up the pork into tiny pieces with a cooking spatula. Keep stirring till the meat turned white and no more moisture coming out of the pork. When the pork started to caramelise, add garlic and dousi. Keep stirring (if you see the work getting a bit sticky, turn the heat down), till garlic and dousi giving out a pungent smell. Add the chopped chive flowers and chilli. Stir fry for a little while, add dash of cooking wine. Continue stir frying till vegetable is cooked. These chive flowers do not take long to cook, it can be eaten semi raw with a more peppery taste and crunch. If you cook it a bit longer the vegetable will get sweeter, less pungent or peppery and less crunchy. It's up to you how you like it cooked. Finally when done add dash of soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil to taste, do not add to much soy sauce and/or oyster sauce the fermented black beans are salty. 

2 comments:

  1. hAPPY New Year!!
    This is a nice recipe. I love to cook a decent dish quickly and without fuss too...One of my favourites is cold toufoo salad..cold toufoo drenched with sesame oil and oyster sauce..and deep fried onions...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy New Year. Great to see you back again...what a beautiful looking dish!

    ReplyDelete

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