Image Credit to: Cavin Teo
The name of the dish may scream royalty, but the truth is, the taste of the dish itself does live up to its name. In Cantonese, it is called as “Sei Tai Theen Wong” or translated into English it is called “Four Heavenly King”.
If you are a local Chinese, you are sure to know this classic dish that has been available in Chinese restaurants for decades and just the mere mention of its name is sure to evoke memories of this spicy and flavourful dish.
What is Four Heavenly Kings?
Four Heavenly Kings comprises four types of vegetables, namely brinjal, long beans, okra and stink beans (petai). In other words, the dish comprises of mixed vegetable that have been stir-fried and served with spicy sambal belacan (chilli paste and dried shrimp).
The finished dish has a strong, pungent smell and is colourful with pops of orange and green.
History of Four Heavenly Kings
What the big deal with this dish? Many are still unsure of the origin of this dish but the name is said to be connected with the four Buddhist deities which originates from Hinduism’s Lokapalas. Each deity is said to watch over one cardinal direction (north, east, south, west).
In Chinese mythology, these Gods are known as the protector of the world, responsible for fighting evil and upholding justice. They are collectively known as “Si Da Tian Wang”, which translates into Four Great Heavenly Kings. After having a brief idea on what “Four Heavenly Kings” is from Chinese mythology, it is somehow convenient to connect the name of the dish to it.
With the combination of 4 types of vegetables, it is no wonder that the dish is known as the Four Heavenly Kings.
How to make Four Heavenly Kings
The recipe for this esteemed dish can be found below:
- The main ingredients are 8 stalks of long beans, 8 stalks of okras, an eggplant, garlic, dried shrimps, shallots, 2-3 tablespoons of sambal and water.
- Add oil to the frying pan and start to heat it up. When the pan is sufficiently hot, sauté some garlic and dried shrimps with sambal.
- Add in long beans and keep stirring and you add some water to the pan bit by bit.
- Add in the rest of the vegetables and keep stirring for another 3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper until the dish is tasty.
- Cover the pan for 1-2 minutes, stir the ingredients several times to ensure even cooking.
- Mix with shallots, and the dish is done!
Do note that this is just a simple walkthrough on the steps on making this dish. More detailed guideline and instructions can be found online.
Nutrition Fact Sheet
Fitness aficionados look over here. We understand how foodies like you often find it hard to balance a healthy diet with addictive food all over Malaysia. So, you can refer to the below for some nutritional information:
A 57g serving size of FourHeavenly Kings:
Where to find Four Heavenly Kings in Malaysia
Four Spicy Mixed Vegetables is classic dish among Chinese restaurants. Here are some locations just to give you a head start. Paradise Dynasty (Paradigm Mall)is recommended, and you can find more at Restoran Dong Bei (Bukit Bintang).
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