Popular Post abcdefg Posted April 1, 2015 at 01:13 PM Popular Post Report Share Posted April 1, 2015 at 01:13 PM Bamboo shoots come in several varieties here (Kunming) and this morning at the wet market I found some of the early kind. They are small, only about the diameter of a finger, but a little longer. The kind of bamboo shoots 竹笋 that will hit the market in another few weeks are large, the diameter of a grown person’s leg. They must be handled different from these early ones in order to be edible. I wrote about those a couple years ago. http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/41586-yunnan-bamboo-shoots-%E4%BA%91%E5%8D%97%E7%AB%B9%E7%AC%8B/ These that I found today are sometimes called 酸笋 and in other places are called 辫笋, the name deriving from their tapered end, which looks sort of like a whip. Here’s a photo. Ballpoint pen for size comparison. As I bought them, I asked the vendor about preparation. She said her family liked them best fried with ground (pork) meat 莫肉 and fermented hot sauce 泡辣椒将。 So I went to the sauce vendor and asked her which of her half a dozen offerings she would suggest for my young bamboo shoot stir fry. She smiled and sold me some of this. I know it’s not very photogenic. It has a pungent aroma, but the chilies have been fermented together with black beans so that their fire has been tamed somewhat. Pretty sure this is sometimes called 豆瓣酱 in other parts of China. Other kinds of hot sauce would work equally well, or maybe even better. Next I visited my favorite pork stand and bought 8 Yuan worth of ground pork shoulder. I wanted to include about 20% fat for this dish, instead of buying totally lean meat like I sometimes get for other dishes. Chopped up some garlic. Marinated the meat in cooking wine/huang jiu/黄酒 and starch/xiao fen/小粉 for about 15 minutes while doing other prep. This makes it tender and also provides the base for a gravy. Coarsely chopped some fresh tomatoes. They add both flavor and color. First cooked the meat and took it out of the wok. When you cook ground meat, break it up as you go along so that it cooks evenly. Chinese recipes usually call this 散炒。 Wiped the wok with a couple paper towels and returned it to the fire. Added oil, put in the aromatics, which in this case was just garlic. (This is where you would also add ginger or onions if you were using them.) Fry until they begin releasing aroma, but don’t let them get brown. (Garlic burns easily.) Had separated the larger pieces of bamboo shoots from the smaller tips. First add the larger parts since they take longer to cook. Sometimes when I make things like this, I cut each short piece longitudinally. Lets them cook faster and is a good thing to do. After they were fried enough to be tender, I added the more slender ends. In goes some salt and a dash of 味精。It’s optional, of course. Then cooked it a minute or two more without walking away. A note on how to stir fry tender things like this. First of all, use high heat. If the heat is low, the result is not the same: Things in the wok will kind of stew and get mushy. Second tip is to do what the Chinese call “flip frying” 翻炒. Slide your spatula 锅铲 under the food, then toss it gently, flipping it upside down. This works better than just stirring it around. Added the cooked ground meat and half a minute later did the same with the cut tomatoes. Let the flavors blend over a minute or so, stirring gently, and then it was done. A tasty one dish meal. Enough to feed two with a little left over. Total cost about 25 Yuan. Total cooking time about 30 minutes. 7 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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