Broccoli Rabe has an appearance somewhat resembling regular broccoli, but it is actually more close related to turnips and, indeed, in norther Italy, it’s name ‘cime de rapa’ means ‘turnip tops’. Outside of North America, it is also known as ‘Rapini’.
Sometime ago, I did a post featuring Broccolini and I described it as being something of a cross between Broccoli and Gai Lan. Broccoli Rabe, however, is, in my opinion, more like a cross between broccoli and kale. In addtion to being much leafier than regular broccoli, it also has a much stronger bitterness than broccoli. I don’t find regular broccoli all that bitter myself but some people do and I rather suspect they won’t be all that partial to this particular green… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Broccoli Rabe”
I have noticed that many people who go to the bother of using fresh rather than frozen broccoli only use the florets and then throw the rest of the stem away. This is a bit of a shame really as this part of the plant is not only quite versatile, it is also tender and delicious as well. Indeed, I think I would have to say that I actually prefer it to the florets… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Broccoli Stems”
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”
Pickled Mustard Greens are a fairly common Asian cuisine and are especially popular in China where they are often simply called ‘suan cai’ (酸菜), or ‘sour vegetable’. Homemade versions are often pickled in brine only, and thus tend to be very sour from the lactic acid alone, but commercial varieties often include vinegar and sugar and can thus be quite sweet. The brand you see pictured above is a product of Thailand rather than China and is one I have bought many times. It does list sugar as an ingredient but it is still really quite sour (and also pretty salty), at the same time… Continue reading “Pickled Mustard Greens (Lotus Brand)”