Jiu hu see, or shredded dry cuttlefish is mostly used by Nyonyas and Peranakan cooks to make jiu hu char, a vegetable dish flavored with dried cuttlefish. In Hokkien dialect, “jiu hu” means cuttlefish, and “see” means thin threads. Other than making the signature jiu hu char, my mother often used jiu hu see to flavor her white turnip (daikon) soup. I love the briny taste of jiu hu see as it adds a very special depth and a pleasing “fishy” note to soups and vegetables.
I have never seen jiu hu see in any Asian stores in the United States. A whole dried cuttlefish is a great substitute. All you have to do is shredding it up to thin threads and you can use them to make your desired dishes…
According to Nonya Flavours: A Complete Guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine (my favorite Nyonya cookbook and a keeper), jiu hu see is made from cleaned and gutted cuttlefish, which is boiled in salted water, drained, sun-dried, flattened, and then shredded.
If you are outside of Malaysia and Singapore and wish to get “Nonya Flavours: A Complete Guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine” cookbook, my family in Penang might be able to get it and mail it to you.
Contact me to inquire further if you are interested.