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"Light" Chinese dishes?


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Just call them by their colour: yellow spuds, orange spuds, grey spuds with hair, purple spuds, red spuds, gwei low spuds...  :laugh:

Oh now I am extremely confused. Which one is which? :laugh::laugh:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Seems this is becoming a linguistic definition contest across continents. If it helps... :blink:


From the Merriam-Webster:

Etymology: earlier iname, from Portuguese inhame & Spanish ñame, of African origin; akin to Fulani nyami to eat

1 : the edible starchy tuberous root of various plants (genus Dioscorea of the family Dioscoreaceae) used as a staple food in tropical areas; also : a plant producing yams

2 : a moist-fleshed and usually orange-fleshed sweet potato

From various web resources:

A large tuber that grows in tropical and subtropical climates; it has starchy, pale-yellow flesh. The name yam is also given to the (botanically unrelated) sweet potato.

There are over 150 species of yams grown throughout the world. Most of "yams" sold in the US, however, are actually sweet potatoes. Yams are higher in sugar that sweet potatoes. Used in soups and stews, mashed, and fried.

Finally, I thought the following webpage made yams rather unappetizing, but, your views?

Chinese Yam

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Here are a couple of light salads. (hope I can put them down in a legal way)


A couple bunches of watercress, trimmed of tough stems and rinsed in cold water.

12 canned waterchestnuts, drained, rinsed and chopped fairly fine.

1 tsp. salt / 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar / a couple tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. sesame oil


Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add watercress and blanch 1 minute.

Drain, and rinse in cold water. (Iced water preferred)


Squeeze cress to get rid of excess water and chop fine. Place in mixing bowl and add rest of ingredients.

Mix well and chill at least 1 hour before serving.


Preparation can be made well ahead -- to the last step. Don’t mix together too far ahead of time, as the brilliant green will fade when mixed with the vinegar.

Using fresh waterchestnuts would make it extra special, but the canned will do nicely, with less work.

This recipe doesn’t yield very much, but only a little is eaten at a time. It is good to use as a ‘palate freshener’.




2 stalks celery / 2 carrots / 2 broccoli stalks / 1 to 2 cups snow peas / sesame seeds (black, if possible)

Sauce: -

2 Tbsp. light soy sauce

2 tsp. sherry

1 Tbsp. vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. sesame oil

few drops chili oil (opt.)


---Remove the leaves from the celery and wash. Save any attractive leafy tips. Peel the carrots and broccoli, but leave the irregular countour of the broccoli. String the pea pods.

----Holding the celery, carrots and broccoli on their sides, slice thin diagonal slices about 1/8 inch thick and 2 to 3 inches long.

----Mix the sauce ingredients.

-----Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch each of the vegetables, one kind at a time. Celery first followed by the carrots, then the greens. When they are tender crisp, or when the greens turn a brilliant color (only +/- a minute), remove with a slotted spoon and drop into iced water to stop cooking and set the color.


---Drain the vegetables well, then arrange on a platter in an attractive pattern.

---When ready to serve, drizzle the sauce over the vegetables and place the reserved celery leaves in the center.

---Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.


Don’t add the sauce to the vegetables too long before serving, or the soy will soak into the vegetables.

Regular sesame seeds can be used, but the black ones make a dramatic presentation.

I usually arrange the vegetables in concentric, overlapping, circles with the points of the vegetables edging the platter, and alternate the colors.


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I'm with the others on "Watercress Soup". With or without shredded chicken, it is a nice, nice soup.

Another favorite with me is the refreshing:


2 Tbsp. oil

A minced slice of ginger

1 scallion, peeled and thinly sliced

¼ cup Sichuan preserved vegetable

½ cup bamboo shoots - canned, but fresh is better

2 tsp. light soy sauce

4 to 6 cups chicken stock/broth - canned is fine


Shred the pork into matchstick pieces about 1 to ½ inches long. / Wash the Sichuan vegetable to remove excess brine and slice into shreds. / Shred the bamboo shoots. / Heat broth/stock. / Have the ginger, scallion, soy and oil at hand.


Heat the oil and when hot, add the ginger and scallions. Stir/fry until fragrant.

Add the pork and continue to cook, separating pieces, until they start to brown.

Add the vegetables and soy sauce. Mix.

Add the heated broth, bring to a simmer, and cook a few minutes on low heat.


You can marinate the pork first, to tenderize the meat and add more flavor to the soup.

2 tsp. light soy sauce pinch sugar

2 tsp. sherry 1/8 tsp. pepper

1 tsp.

¼ tsp. sesame oil.

You can stir/fry the marinated pork, or add directly to the simmering broth – separating pieces.

This soup can be made ahead and reheated.

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