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Chinese Vegetables Illustrated


liuzhou
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While asparagus is a recent addition to the Chinese vegetable table, white asparagus has been totally absent. Until very recently - like weeks.

Grown in China's north-eastern Shandong provice, I can only get it online. My first delivery landed today.

 

It is known locally as 白芦笋 (bái lú sǔn) which is a direct translation of 'white asparagus'. Most Chinese are convinced that asparagus in general is some kind of bamboo. Of course it is totally unrelated.

 

1807440158_whiteasparagus.thumb.jpg.0c4d19cfcdd3a3d1607f55d6558f4c7b.jpg

 

2034557084_whiteasparagus2.thumb.jpg.4b4a42905f1b15ed254c6d5242d9ed54.jpg

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

401521392_PlantainHerb.thumb.jpg.d3acef5b525459581ea930b0364f57d6.jpg

 

I'm excited. This afternoon after a difficult day of dishonest idiots throwing their toys out of the pram and disappearing vaccinations, I found a new vegetable. Well, new to me, that is.

 

This is 车前草 (chē qián cǎo) or plantain herb (no relation to the banana-related fruit of the similar name). This is Plantago major, native to Europe and Asia, although apparantly introduced elsewhere. It can be eaten raw when young, but we don't do that round here.  More likely it will be stir-fried as most vegetables are.

I haven't tried it yet, so no comment on taste, but I'll update when I try it.

Not a great image, I know, but sadly, the market floor isn't really set up as a photo studio!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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On 5/18/2022 at 5:32 AM, liuzhou said:

401521392_PlantainHerb.thumb.jpg.d3acef5b525459581ea930b0364f57d6.jpg

 

I'm excited. This afternoon after a difficult day of dishonest idiots throwing their toys out of the pram and disappearing vaccinations, I found a new vegetable. Well, new to me, that is.

 

This is 车前草 (chē qián cǎo) or plantain herb (no relation to the banana-related fruit of the similar name). This is Plantago major, native to Europe and Asia, although apparantly introduced elsewhere. It can be eaten raw when young, but we don't do that round here.  More likely it will be stir-fried as most vegetables are.

I haven't tried it yet, so no comment on taste, but I'll update when I try it.

Not a great image, I know, but sadly, the market floor isn't really set up as a photo studio!

As a kid, I use to eat them raw, straight away from the stem, I remember it as very green and a bit pungent, the texture sliglthly reminds me of chia, but dryer. Anyway, it happened decades ago and I completely forgot them till you post them (thanks).

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Here plantain is considered a common invasive weed.  Known disparagingly among Indians as white man's foot.

 

 

It's known in In the UK as "white man's footprint". Nothing to do with American "Indians", although there are a lot of Indian Indians in the UK! I've no idea what they call it, though! 😁

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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Posted (edited)

I remember as a kid spraying weed killer on quite a few of those in the middle of the lawn. Who knew you could eat them!?!

Edited by KennethT (log)
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In her book on Sichuan cooking Fuchsia Dunlop freqentlly lists Turkish peppers or long green Turkish peppers in her ingredients, but these are not mentioned in her discussion of peppers or in her index. What are they? and what is a substitute? And if she simply refers to Turkish pepper does she mean a dried product? My only association for Turkish pepper is Aleppo, which is only available in dried red crushed form as far as I know. Thanks for enlightening me, ( @liuzhou!)

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

In her book on Sichuan cooking Fuchsia Dunlop freqentlly lists Turkish peppers or long green Turkish peppers in her ingredients, but these are not mentioned in her discussion of peppers or in her index. What are they? and what is a substitute? And if she simply refers to Turkish pepper does she mean a dried product? My only association for Turkish pepper is Aleppo, which is only available in dried red crushed form as far as I know. Thanks for enlightening me, ( @liuzhou!)

 

Where does she mention Turkish peppers? I've been through her Sichuan book and can see no mention.

 

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Where does she mention Turkish peppers? I've been through her Sichuan book and can see no mention.

 

Here's a recipe that's credited to her Sichuan book that calls for long green Turkish peppers: Dry fried “eels” (shiitake mushrooms)

 

Eat Your Books lists 11 recipes from the book that call for the same. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Here's a recipe that's credited to her Sichuan book that calls for long green Turkish peppers: Dry fried “eels” (shiitake mushrooms)

 

Eat Your Books lists 11 recipes from the book that call for the same. 

 

Thanks. I guess I didn't search carefully enough. I haven't a clue what she is referring to.  The accompanying image  seems to have these chillies I mentioned upthread.

 

1660923544__20220602100336.thumb.jpg.fe0fc2bdfb8ab6fee81a9844529c25a2.jpg

 

Maybe she is substituting the Turkish variety for those. I really don't know. I'll ask her!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

What are they? and what is a substitute? And if she simply refers to Turkish pepper does she mean a dried product?

 

Sorry for my earlier confusion. There have actually been three different versions of her "Sichuan book". First was "Sichuan Cookery"in the UK, then later "Land of Plenty" in  the USA and finally the revised and expanded  "The Food of Sichuan" globally.  Stupidly, I was searching the wrong one, despite having all three.

Again going by the image accompanying one recipe, she is clearly using a fresh pepper, not dried. See above.

P.S. I also have the Chinese translation of "The Food of  Sichuan". I'd look to see how that is dealt with it but my dear friend J has borrowed it and is travelling somewhere on business!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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27 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Maybe she is substituting the Turkish variety for those. I really don't know. I'll ask her!

 

I'm sure you're right. I'm guessing it's a nomenclature that's somewhat common in UK shops but it would be nice to get your take on the original ingredient. 

Searching my own books for recipes that call for long green Turkish peppers, they're largely by UK authors or in books published in the UK. 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I'm sure you're right. I'm guessing it's a nomenclature that's somewhat common in UK shops but it would be nice to get your take on the original ingredient. 

Searching my own books for recipes that call for long green Turkish peppers, they're largely by UK authors or in books published in the UK. 

 

I'm sure YOU are right, although despite being British and having lived beside the main Turkish area, I don't know what she means.

She is usually more upfront when using substitutes.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

 

Sorry for my earlier confusion. There have actually been three different versions of her "Sichuan book". First was "Sichuan Cookery"in the UK, then later "Land of Plenty" in  the USA and finally the revised and expanded  "The Food of Sichuan" globally.  Stupidly, I was searching the wrong one, despite having all three.

Again going by the image accompanying one recipe, she is clearly using a fresh pepper, not dried. See above.

P.S. I also have the Chinese translation of "The Food of  Sichuan". I'd look to see how that is dealt with it but my dear friend J has borrowed it and is travelling somewhere on business!

Yes, the references I'm alluding to are from the newer revised edition. Thanks for the help! When it comes to fresh green chiles my default is roasted poblanos, which I usually have in my freezer; I don't typically use those for Chinese cooking.I have one reliable source for hot poblanos in the summer and fall, so I roast and freeze enough to hopefully last me the rest of the year. The fresh jalapeños around here are mostly bland and boring, so for fresh or pickled peppers I often use serranos. I'm pretty sure the Viet restaurant we frequent uses fresh serranos as well. The shops I haunt in Oakland Chinatown don't carry other varieties of fresh green chiles. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a brassica variety I don't recall seeing before. In Chinese, it is 鹤斗白 (hè dǒu bái, which is untranslatable into anything sensible*), but I have been unable to find a proper English name or a more specific scientific name. Each head is about the same size as what many of you call baby bok choy**.

 

204867188_.thumb.jpg.c768966b9a6d5953873df53cb4b5612e.jpg

鹤斗白

 

The leaves of this one are darker and curled and the whole head forms a sort of cup shape (which is the meaning of the second character.

 

I'll be having it with my dinner later and shall report on the  taste.

 

* The name translates literally as 'crane (the bird) cup-shaped white)

** but the Chinese don't - it's called Shanghai greens here. Baby bok choy here is something different. See up thread.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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