Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ka Chang Ma

Today is Sunday and as usual, it's a cooking day for me. I try to whip up a dish that would last a few days so that Adrian doesn't have to do heavy cooking on week days. Since I come home late most days due to the long commute from NYC, Adrian would have to put on his "Top Chef" hat in the evenings. I am lucky to have a very capable chef at home :)

Ka Chang Ma is one of those dishes that keeps well. It is a traditional Chinese chicken herb dish served to women post pregnancy and very common in my hometown. The herb is Chinese motherwort or its scientific name - leonurus sibiricus, and honestly, it's not easy to eat. As a young girl, I never liked it. I would scrape the herbs of the chicken before eating ka chang ma. Why would anyone eat something that smell vile and reek with alcohol?! The latter might be an incentive to revisit the dish every now and then... lols! Well, I've come a long way and have acquired the taste of ka chang ma. Since its days as a post-natal dish, folks have started eating ka chang ma as a regular food and has become a local delicacy in my home town.

The MAIN ingredient although also know as "Little M...." is NOT to be confused with another herb which recently became legal for medicinal purposes in NJ!

Prep chicken & fresh ginger (pounded & squeezed - save the juice for later).

Heat the herb until it's fragrant but not too brown, otherwise your dish will taste bitter.

Stir-fry ginger pulp until fragrant - set aside.

Stir-fry chicken pieces & add ginger juice.

Add the herb and ginger pulp.

My Holy Trinity of cooking wine - 2 types of rice wine & Sherry for sweetness. Amen!

Transfer to a crock-pot and cook on low for another hour until chicken becomes tender and all the herb & wine is fully infused in the meat.



CC said...

Wow, very accurate, that's how my mom cooks it! Yummy!

Peter Ling said...

Thank you, serenity, my wife who is caucasian loves ka chang ma and has asked me to look for a recipe on the web, found yours and thanks a million.... :) we are having family over for christmas dinner tonight, Merry christmas and A Very Happy New Year.

Peter Ling said...

Thanks for this recipe, Serenity. Been looking for the recipe, my wife who is Caucasian suggested that I look it up on the web. We are having family for Christmas dinner tonight and this is one of the dishes. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
BTW I lived in Kuching for 12-13 years and studied at St Joseph's Secondary school and Batu Lintang Primary.

Serenity said...

Peter & CC: Thanks. I'm glad to be of assistance. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year!

Jenny said...

Hi Serenity, I am so happy to have found someone from my hometown who also lives in the USA.

I married an Oregon guy, now am pregnant, I am missing Kuching's food so bad. I will need Ka Chang Ma after delivery.

Did you have to order your Ka Chang Ma all the way from Kuching? Also, I wish to breastfeed, is it OK is I eat Ka Chang Ma while breastfeeding?

Thanks so much for your post, God bless you.

Serenity said...

Hi Jenny, It is ok to eat Ka Chang Ma while you're breastfeeding. It is cooked alcohol so it's not like drinking wine. I brought them over from Kuching when I went home for the holidays. Congratulations on your pregnancy and God Bless you too!