Ju Hu Char (also known as Bang Kuang Char) is definitely one of my favorite Nyonya vegetable dish. Ju Hu Char (in Hokkien dialect) literally translates to Cuttlefish Stir-Fry. The main ingredients in this dish are Jicama (pronouced as “Hicama”), Carrots, Mushroom and Dried Cuttlefish. Some recipes uses some pork or chicken meat in the dish, but I prefer to do without. Some versions of this dish are a little more wet and some on the drier set. It’s really up to your preference!
This dish is quite versatile and one can have several ways of eating it. I love to eat my Ju Hu Char with a huge helping of warm rice. Some eat this with a lettuce wrap and some sambal belacan as an appetizer. You could even use this and make it into a deep fried spring roll or “pie tee” (like what I made here) filling!
Here’s my version of Ju Hu Char. I julienned (instead of the preferred shredding method) my jicama and carrots with my sub-par knife skills which resulted in a slightly chunkier looking Ju Hu Char compared to some others. =)
JU HU CHAR / BANG KUANG CHAR RECIPE
- 1 Medium Jicama / Yam Bean (About 1-1/2 lb)
- 1 Medium Carrot (About 3-1/2oz)
- 12 Small Chinese Mushrooms, Presoaked
- 1/8 Cup Shredded Dried Cuttlefish (Not the snack ones)
- 2 Tbsp Shallot, Thinly Sliced
- 1 Tbsp Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Sugar
- 1 Tsp Soy Sauce, plus more if needed
- White Pepper, to taste
- 2 Cups Water, plus more if needed
- 1 Tbsp Fried Shallot (For Garnish, Optional)
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Scallion (For Garnish, Optional)
Remove skin of the jicama then finely shred/julienne the jicama into about 1-1/2” lengths. Set aside and repeat this to the carrot. Thinly julienne the presoaked mushrooms.
Heat oil in pan over medium high heat then add sliced shallots. Once the edges of the shallots turn slightly brown, add it garlic and stir fry until garlic turn slightly brown as well. Add in dried cuttlefish, fry until they start popping. Add mushroom and stir fry for about 1 minute. Then add jicama and carrot and continue stir frying, mixing them well. Add in salt, sugar, soy sauce, a few dashes of white pepper and water. Mix everything together, cover the pan and lower the heat to medium low. Let the jicama cook for about 10-15 minutes before checking on it. Taste the stir-fry and add additional seasoning if you prefer.
It depends on how finely shredded your jicama was and how soft you want your jicame to be, the dish should be done. You may need to add a little more water and cook for another few minutes if you want the jicama to be less crunchy. Remember to double check the seasoning! Transfer onto a serving platter and add fried shallot and scallions for garnish! June’s Notes: If you cannot find pre-shredded dried cuttlefish, you can get those whole ones (as shown below) and cut them up. For this recipe, I used 2 small dried cuttlefish, soaked them and cut them into thin strips. Please note that these shredded cuttlefish are not the ready to eat snack ones. These are for cooking. You should be able to get the ingredients used in this recipe at most Chinese grocery store.