This stir-fry with shredded dried cuttlefish and yam beans (sengkuang in Malay) is a New Year staple for many Malaysian-Chinese families. The seafood mixture is traditionally eaten in crisp iceberg lettuce cups with spicy sambal belachan.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)


  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms (see Note)
  • 500 g pork belly, cut into 4 pieces 
  • 200 g dried shredded cuttlefish (see Note) 
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar 
  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil 
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into julienne 
  • 4 small yam beans (jicama) (see Note), peeled, cut into julienne 
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced 
  • ¼ (about 400 g) white cabbage, thinly shredded 
  • iceberg lettuce leaves and sambal belachan, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 10 minutes

Soak mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and squeeze to remove excess water. Remove and discard stems, then thinly slice remainder and set aside.

Bring 2 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add pork, reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Remove pork, set aside to cool and reserve the broth. When pork is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the rind, then cut the meat into thin strips. Set aside.

Combine cuttlefish and vinegar in a bowl, stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze to remove excess vinegar. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over medium–high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until golden. Add pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots, and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Add yam beans, onions and leek, and stir well to combine. Add 250 ml reserved pork broth and cabbage, season with salt and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the cuttlefish and cook for a further 10 minutes or until pork and cuttlefish are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed; it should be soggy but not dripping wet; add more pork broth, if neccessary.

Spoon stir-fry into lettuce leaves and serve with sambal belachan.



• Dried shiitake mushrooms and dried cuttlefish are from Asian food shops.
• Yam beans, available from selected greengrocers and Asian food shops, have a crisp texture and refreshing mild flavour.


As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.

Photography by Anson Smart.