Vaca Chau Chau


Stir-fried beef

This translates literally as vaca (Portuguese for beef), chaochao (Cantonese for stir-fried), parida (Portuguese for someone who had recently given birth to a child). Dishes with ginger were considered beneficial for women recovering from childbirth.

Vaca Chau Chau from Maria Lourdes de Menezes Bayot, courtesy of Yvonne Husband

½ kg skirt steak
¼ cup of soya sauce
½ cup of sherry
1 onion chopped in half and then into medium strips
3 cloves of garlic chopped
12mm | ½ in. ginger cut into strips
1 tbsp cornflour
¼ cup oyster sauce
vegetables of your choice *

*     Many people would use celery. Other suitable vegetables would be mushrooms, bamboo shoots, Chinese baby corn, bak choy, bean shoots.

Slice the beef very thin into strips. Make the marinade by mixing the soya sauce, sherry and cornflour. Then mix in the beef strips. The beef will soak up the marinade.

In a wok place a little oil and fry the onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant, then add in the beef strips and stir fry on high until almost cooked.

Remove the beef from the pan. Add a little more oil and fry the vegetables until crispy but cooked. Then return the beef back to the wok and mix together with the vegetables.

Add the oyster sauce, stirring it through well.

If the sauce is too thick add a little water, or if too thin add a little cornflour mixed with water and a little soya sauce.

Taste: if required add a little more oyster sauce or soya sauce.

Vaca Chau Chau Parida from “Guilly” Canavarro Remedios

We have not yet tested this recipe

½ lb (220g) beef, cut in very thin strips about ½” long
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp white vinegar
3 spring onions, finely chopped
20 cent size ginger, cut in very thin ½” long strips
salt to taste
about ¼ cup water for gravy

Put a tsp of lard in a frying pan and when hot fry the spring onions and the ginger strips first, add salt and turmeric and fry for a minute then add the vinegar and beef. Fry till almost done. Add a little water, bring to the boil and it is ready.

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