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liuzhou

Kohlrabi

47 posts in this topic

I've recently come across these things in the local supermarkets (local being southern China).

IMG_2723 (Large).jpg

They are labelled 芬兰球 (fēn lán qiú) which means Finland Balls. A search of Google or his Chinese counterparts reveals nothing. Even the locals are in the dark, claiming never to have seen them before. I have asked several friends.

Nothing.

They are about 4 inches in diameter and the one on the left weighs 498g.

I know someone out there is going to say "Well, obviously they are _______. Doesn't he know anything?" :smile:

Any clues in any language will be very welcome.

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Yeah, kohlrabi. They also come in purple. Some people say they taste a bit like broccoli stem. I quite like them roasted, but other than that, they're pretty mild.

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See. I told you! Someone will know.

They certainly look the same. Kohlrabi is not something I've really come across in its raw state before - either here or at home in the UK.

"Finland balls" must be a local dialect name. The more formal usual translation is 球苤甘蓝 or just 苤蓝 for short.

Many thanks.


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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it is great shredded or cut into matchsticks and used in a slaw/salad if you want a raw application.


"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Thanks Chris. Nice link.

And thanks Ashen - you have given me an idea for a variation on a rare Chinese salad. China doesn't usually do raw food, but there is an exception. If it works, it will turn up in the Salads thread. (If not, you will never hear about it again!)


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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Yes, per Ashen, I've used it like celeriac to make remoulade. Also steamed and mashed with butter. And diced small and roasted with chunks of skinned sausage, silver beet, hazelnuts and shallots.

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Ha! I'm pretty sure that's the exact article I got the remoulade idea from in the first place.

Speaking of raw, you could do it a little like Sichuanese cucumbers..sort of a quick pickle in garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and Sichuan pepper or some Lao Gan Ma chilli oil.

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Speaking of raw, you could do it a little like Sichuanese cucumbers..sort of a quick pickle in garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and Sichuan pepper or some Lao Gan Ma chilli oil.

That sounds like an idea. Though I will probably miss on the Lao Gan Ma - it is the Heinz ketchup of southern China - so overdone here. Everything tastes the same. I'd be happy never to come across the stuff again. There are dozens of much better chilli sauces.

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Try them roasted together with some root veggies (carrots, parsnips, celery). And some balsamic glaze

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Kohlrabi makes a yummy low carb "potato salad"


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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hahaha, apparently I have read too quickly when I suggested roasting.

In essence, kohlrabi reminds me a lot of the root part of the european cabbage, in smell, taste and texture (ok, maybe a bit softer). You can eat it raw, add to stews, use in stir fry but my favourite remains roasting.

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Speaking of raw, you could do it a little like Sichuanese cucumbers..sort of a quick pickle in garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and Sichuan pepper or some Lao Gan Ma chilli oil.

That sounds like an idea. Though I will probably miss on the Lao Gan Ma - it is the Heinz ketchup of southern China - so overdone here. Everything tastes the same. I'd be happy never to come across the stuff again. There are dozens of much better chilli sauces.

Well, sheesh..OK then!

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I am quite surprised that kohlrabi is not common in your area of China. My Mom grew it from seeds we brought with us - from Toisan via Hong Kong. Perhaps it is more of a Toisan veg:-)

My Mom used to sliced it, salted and dried it for the winter - here in Canada before we had access to a Chinese grocery store.

Sliced or diced, kohlrabi makes a lovely simple soup, a nice change from the various gwa (melons, squashes, etc). It can retain some crunch... or softer - depending on how long it is cooked. It is also delicious stir-fried with meat, or in a mixed vegetable dish.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I am quite surprised that kohlrabi is not common in your area of China.

Yes. I'm learning that it seems to be quite common in some places (perhaps more in the east), but none of my friends in Hunan / Guangxi had a clue what they were.

Just another reminder that there is no such thing as "Chinese food". A reminder that there are many "Chinese foods".


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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Perhaps it is more of a Toisan veg:-)

According to the Baidu article (Google translation) it was introduced to China in the 16th Century and appears to be grown in more places than Toisan, with named varieties as well. :-)

Liuzhou, I imagine you had already found the Baidu article earlier - note that there are a few "Chinese" recipes for the stuff at the bottom of the article.


Edited by huiray (log)

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Ah, OK. Try using it, shredded, cooked or raw as one prefers, in things like popiah [instead of the celeriac or the more traditional "sar kot"(as I knew it by; a.k.a. jicama)] or spring rolls or Vietnamese-type "summer rolls". It makes a decent substitution.

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I cooked kohlrabi for the first time this year, when I received some in my CSA box. They make fabulous fritters. There's quite a lot of liquid in them, so squeeze the shredded kohlrabi out well.

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