New Recipes

Chai Buey (菜尾)

Chai Buey

If you are looking for new ways of cooking leftover turkey from Turkey Day, I have something exotic that you might want to try out. I cooked mine the Malaysian way and the end result is a pot of steaming hot “Chai Buey” (菜尾).

Literally means leftovers, Chai Buey is a dish that is quite common in Chinese-Malaysian homes, especially after festivities such as Chinese New Year, wedding or birthday banquets. The key ingredient of Chai Buey is usually some sort of meat—roast pig, barbeque pork, duck, or chicken. All the leftovers from the festivities (including but not limited to the meat) are then stewed in a big pot with mustard green (芥菜), vegetables, and other edibles. The end result is a hearty soup with intense flavor and lots of hidden treasures (think leftover Abalone from that wedding banquet!).

While meat is the centerpiece of this dish, the secret ingredient is Asam Gelugor/Asam Keping (tamarind skins). These tamarind skins enhance the sour flavor that is signature to this dish and make the soup extra tangy and savory.

If you don’t like what you see (I know, this dish is so not photogenic!), head over to Simply Recipes for a list of turkey leftovers recipes.

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27 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Audrey Cooks

    Wow! chai boey a must whenever there are leftovers. I tried using turkey 2 years ago and thot it was quite nice but not the same as the ones using roasted duck and siew yoke (BBQ pork). I think the difference is turkey chai boey is very rich in flavour, but nevertheless good to eat!

    PS, so great u had thanksgiving … I never miss but this year house reno, very messy :c

  2. Rasa Malaysia

    Babe – yes, you guys are so lucky…can get this Chai Buey easily nowadays. You can also get it from economy rice stalls.

    Mef – this blog is dedicated to the foods of my childhood…my mother’s cooking, my grandmother’s, and my aunt’s. Now I have to cook my own since I am so far away from home. :P

    Paati – no, they are not the same. Tamarind skins are the ones shown on the picture…tamarind paste are usually just tamarind.

    Tigerfish – you can get all these ingredients from 99 Ranch Market. I will check out your site.

  3. suanne

    Hi Rasa Malaysia, I usually make this with roasted pig feet and I find it too fatty. I will try it with turkey next time. Thanks for the idea.

  4. Rasa Malaysia

    CP – Eeeerrrr, I guess I will have to change the title to Leftover Turkey, Fujian Style. ;)

    I think it’s a Chinese invention, but the Malaysian version is improvised with the use of tamarind skins and dried chilies. Do Taiwanese use them for this dish?

  5. Jubes

    Hi, I was wondering if the mustard greens in this dish is the salted types sold in packets at the Asian grocers, or the fresh ones?

  6. Elena

    This is really a delicious dish. My grandma’s version is that she will add in tomatoes and nutmeg. I think I am going to try this recipe next week. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I love chai buey so much. I’ve asked my mom to purposely buy roasted pork and duck just so she could make this. :-D I like mind really sour. Craving for it now. Using turkey is a clever idea. It’s flavourful.

  8. Mei

    This isn’t really chai boey but a very delicious ‘khong assam’. Not according to me but from an authority of nyonya cuisine – my grandma who is a nyonya and who was once in charge of the communal nyonya kitchen in her little nyonya neighbourhood. It is also the base to make chai boey. To make a real nyonya chai boey, add all the other leftovers like ‘too tor thng’, ‘jiu hu char’, ‘chap chai char’, ‘lor bak’, ‘chap chai thng’, ‘bang kwan char’, etc. It is somewhat a family staple growing up in a large nyonya family and community.

    Thumbs up on all your other nyonya dishes though! My grandma approves!

    • My late grandmother was a Nyonya, too. Khong Asam is an entirely different dish, and certainly without the leftovers and the vegetables. This is what we call chai buey.

      • Mei

        Hmmm… Perhaps in Penang this is termed differently then. Some call this Assam Chye. I swear this is what we (from my late great-grandma to grandaunts and all) call a version of Khong Assam. They come from generations of nyonya village ‘head chef’ and get rather annoyed when others call this chai buey. They are insistent that real chai buey must have jiu hi char and the works.

        Whatever the name, this is one ultra delicious dish!

        • In my family, this is called chai buey and yes chai buey sometimes has chiu hu char. Khong assam is a separate dish and can be made with pork ribs or fish but definitely no kua chai.

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