preparation time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
chilling time: several hours to overnight
emergency contact: carol
This is hands down the most requested recipe from the 54 Leacock menu. Dow bahn soh is Shanghainese peasant fare — a chilled bean dip that goes really well with steamed white rice or on crusty bread. It has been painstakingly reverse-engineered by trial-and-error in the 54 Leacock test kitchen. At certain times of the year, it’s possible to find fresh broad beans in some markets like Longo’s, but the frozen variety works fine too.
broad beans in pods – 750 g
pickled snow cabbage – 1 tin
Shao Hsing cooking wine – 1 Tbsp
chicken bouillon – 1 cube
brown tablet sugar – 2 Tbsp worth (substitute white sugar)
sesame oil – 2 tsp (optional)
Soak the broad beans in hot water for 10 minutes and remove them from the pods. Open a tin of pickled snow cabbage, rinse with cold water and drain. Coarsely chop up the cabbage so there are no stringy bits. If using tablet sugar, coarsely chop that up too.
Bring to a boil 700 mL of water with 1 tsp salt. Add the broad beans, chicken bouillon and cooking wine, cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and spoon the foamy gunk off the top. Simmer uncovered on medium low heat until the beans are soft enough to mash with a spatula or wooden spoon (approximately 30-45 minutes, but maybe less if you use fresh broad beans or if you happen to have some “fresher” (more recently) frozen beans).
Stir and smash up the beans in the pot. Add the pickled cabbage and cook together with the beans for 10-15 minutes. Season with sugar and sesame oil. If the mixture looks too soupy at this stage, turn the heat up a bit and cook uncovered to allow some of the liqud to evaporate.
Allow to cool completely and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, sesame oil and/or regular white sugar if necessary. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator. It’s best if you can chill it for 1 day before serving, but it’s ready to eat after a few hours.
Updated February 27th, 2011