abcdefg Posted August 14, 2013 at 04:20 AM Report Share Posted August 14, 2013 at 04:20 AM Bamboo shoots have just recently hit the markets in a big way here in Kunming and I had to have some a couple days ago even though they will be cheaper in another week or so. I realize that bamboo shoots are not exclusive to Yunnan, and different parts of China have different varieties. Some of those others require parboiling to remove bitterness, but these Yunnan bamboo shoots don't. Here's what they look like in the wet market. The vendor will weigh them first and then trim off the woody inedible outside parts if you ask her. Right now they are going for 15 Yuan per kilo; later they will come down 10 Yuan per kilo. This vendor specializes in local root items, and to the left you can see lotus roots. A side-note digression on weights of fresh vegetables and fruits in the market. The convention differs from place to place in China and, oddly enough, when vendors quote the price per jin/斤 they can either mean a gong jin/公斤 (a kilogram) or a 市斤/shi jin, which is 500 grams. Need to ask to make sure. When selling smaller or more expensive fresh items, such as dry spices or wild mushrooms, they generally sell by the 两/liang. Similar to the above, this can either be a 公两/gong liang which is 100 Grams, or a 市两/shi liang, which is 50. To cook these things, which are after all fibrous but tender young parts of a tree, one needs to slice them thin. You can either use small slices, or julienne slivers, such as I did here. Found some good looking 火腿/huotui in the market on the same trip and decided to use some of it with the bamboo shoots. Bamboo shoots are bland, and huo tui imparts a distinctive complimentary flavor. The most sought after kind of 火腿 here is from 宣威/Xuanwei, a small town (县城) in 曲靖/Qujing, a prefecture in NE Yunnan. Other places make excellent huotui too, notably Zhejiang, where Jinhua ham 金華火腿 comes from. Huotui is fairly expensive and the piece pictured cost 50 Yuan. But it will last a long time, since one seldom uses a lot at any one time. I think of it more as a condiment than as a protein source. Could have just as well used sliced pork loin 里脊/liji in this dish. Added thinly sliced red bell peppers/红椒 because they have a gentle flavor that doesn't compete with the bamboo shoots and they make the dish look good. Might as well please they eye as well as the palate. Ready to rock and roll now. Small plate on the lower right has 干辣椒/gan lajiao/dried red chilies and a couple cloves of minced garlic. Small dish on the left has a mix of light soy sauce/酱油/jiang you, yellow (rice) wine 黄酒/huang hiu, and a splash of aged vinegar/老陈醋/lao chen cu. I added a pinch of sugar to balance the vinegar, because the dish doesn't really need to be either sour or sweet. First sauteed the aromatic ingredients (garlic and chilies) quickly (15 or 20 seconds,) being careful not to burn them, then added the huotui. Next the bamboo shoots and red bell peppers. Stir fry 炒/chao until the bamboo shoots were tender, approximately 15 minutes. Don't walk away; stay stove side and continue to work it with the spatula/锅铲/guo chan. Can add a pinch of salt if needed and MSG 味精/wei jing if you like it. The finished product. Serve with steamed rice. This is a tasty and straight forward way to prepare this seasonal item. 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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