Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Dry-fried Beans and Bamboo Shoots

Dry-fried Beans and Bamboo 1

The actual purpose of this recipe is to showcase some Brine-Packed Bamboo Shoots I featured in a recent post. However, the recipe itself is a modification of a very popular Sichuan dish called ‘Dry-Fried Four Season Beans’, the beans being a variety of the common green runner bean that is usually cooked to a nasty tasteless greyness in western kitchens. In this Sichuan specialty, the beans are generally deep-fried first in order to make them deliciously crisp-tender, and are then pan-fried with other ingredients. Typically, the additions will be garlic, ginger and chili, but non-vegetarian versions can include ground pork, dried shrimp, or even both… Continue reading “Dry-fried Beans and Bamboo Shoots”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Bamboo Shoots in Brine

Bamboo in brine 1

Bamboo shoots are a common ingredient in Asian cuisine that most people have sampled at one time or another but, for the most part, usually only the ones that come in cans. Quite honestly, I don’t care for them when packed this way as the canning process imparts an unpleasant metallic taste that can only be remedied by lengthy soaking, during which time any other flavors get lost as well.

I love pickled or fermented bamboo shoots (see my post here) and also the dried sort, which will be featured in an upcoming post, as both of these have a very unique and delicious character (albeit something of an acquired taste, for some). The fresh article is, unfortunately, something I have yet to be able to cook with as the only times I have seen it in stores is when I was travelling and it was not practical for me to buy it. Accordingly, when I am in the south, I like to buy the brine-packed type you see pictured above. These are not nearly as flavorful as the dried or fermented products, but they add visual appeal and a nice texture to many dishes and have the added advantage of no nasty metallic qualities… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Bamboo Shoots in Brine”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Pickled Bamboo Dumplings

When I featured Chili Bamboo Shoots in a Foodstuffs post some time ago, I mentioned that I would like to try using them as a dumpling filling. After a couple of other experiments using the stuff I only have a little left in the jar and I need to use it up. There really isn’t enough to use them alone as a dumpling stuffing, so I decided to use some of my homemade Pickled Mustard Greens and ground Pork to round out the volume. Anyway, for this experiment, we will be essentially be doing the Chinese style dumpling known as Jiaozi, or more specifically, 蒸餃子(zhēng jiǎozi), since we will be steaming them… Continue reading “Pickled Bamboo Dumplings”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Chili Bamboo Shoots

For years, my only experience with bamboo shoots was those awful bland strips that came in cans. If you rinsed them long enough to get rid of the nasty ‘canned’ taste, you always ended up washing away whatever other residual flavor they might have had. In recent years, however, I have been able to enjoy a variety of commercial products featuring shoots that have been lightly fermented and then packaged either in a brine or oil. My wife and I are especially fond of those pickled with chili, as is the one you see pictured above… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Chili Bamboo Shoots”