Fat Choy with Mushroom and Bamboo Shoots

Fat Choy, or 发菜, is a traditional New year’s food, at least in the Zhejiang area. It’s a type of alge and its Chinese name is homophonous with get rich (发财). It consists of countless thin strings and is flavourless; however, the intertwining of those fibers makes it a flavour sponge…. Soooo good. It’s great for soups, stewing and stirfrying.

Mushrooms are also a flavour sponge and bring a nice chewy texture as well as a deep unami flavour. The bamboo shoots add a crunch element, and the structure of the shoots resembles a ladder. This is supposed to encourage upwards movement in the new year. Here’s the recipe:

Fat Choy with Mushrooms and Bamboo shoots


  • 10-15g dried Fat choy, soaked overnight (should yield 2-300g)
  • 7-8 dried button mushrooms, soaked at least 1-2hrs- sliced
  • 150-200g bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
  • salt
  • 1cup stock
  • 1/2 cup mushroom liquid


  1.  Heat water in a pot and parboil the bamboo shoots for about 2 min. Drain and set aside
  2. Heat a wok to medium-high, add a bit of oil. Stirfry the bamboo shoots and mushrooms with some salt for 2-3min, or until the mushrooms are quite softened. Remove from heat and set aside
  3. Add a bit more oil in the wok and sir fry the Fat Choy for 2-3 min. Put the mushrooms and bamboo shoots back in and stir fry for another minute or so.
  4. Add the stock, mushroom liquid and more salt if necessary. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!



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