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Chinese chives 韭菜 two or three ways

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Jim

This is relevant to my interests, got two healthy rows growing in my veg patch as I type!

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abcdefg

@Jim -- I'm jealous! As an apartment dweller, I miss home-grown vegetables a lot, especially true vine-ripened tomatoes. 

 

What do you find grows best up there at this time of year? What are you harvesting the most regularly now and enjoying the most? 

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Jim
5 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

What do you find grows best up there at this time of year? What are you harvesting the most regularly now and enjoying the most? 

It's early days yet as we only moved in late last year - the jiucai were planted already and have gone over winter, come up beautifully now. Just planted two rows of beans, one runner 架豆 and the other 豇豆. Will be planting some squash and cucumbers too, though must admit I'm a terrible gardener but our elderly neighbours over the way, a farming couple, love to come by and help so I've done it all under their guidance.

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ChTTay

I like eating jiu cai but really don’t like cleaning it!  Your ingredient photos doesn’t look so bad but the base of them is often caked in mud. A lot of the time some of the outer layers have to be removed from the base as well. 

 

Not LOADS of effort to clean it but more than other vegetables. Hence, I rarely buy it. 

 

I do do like a decent Egg and Chinese chives. Don’t go on any dates after eating though. 

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abcdefg
2 minutes ago, ChTTay said:

Not LOADS of effort to clean it but more than other vegetables. Hence, I rarely buy it. 

 

Yes, sometimes the white base needs to be peeled and trimmed. Do you sometimes use them for dumplings up there in Beijing? 

 

2 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

To hell with the two of you and your idyllic lives.

 

Haha! Don't be bitter. You can always come to visit.

 

5 hours ago, Jim said:

Will be planting some squash and cucumbers too, though must admit I'm a terrible gardener but our elderly neighbours over the way, a farming couple, love to come by and help so I've done it all under their guidance.

 

Sounds like a good way to learn local ways as well as getting to know your neighbors. Back when I had a kitchen garden, before coming to China, I always trellised cucumbers and squash. 

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amytheorangutan

Making a trip to Chinatown tomorrow for some chives 🤤

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Jim
7 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Sounds like a good way to learn local ways as well as getting to know your neighbors. Back when I had a kitchen garden, before coming to China, I always trellised cucumbers and squash. 

They're a lovely couple, as well as helping with the veg patch (they used to do same for our landlords when they came out here at weekends) often pop round with veg they've grown themselves or a spare bit of whatever tasty thing they've been cooking. Good test of my Chinese because they've got strong local accents and are both pretty deaf so no can't get away with anything less than clear. We have a trellis beside the veg patch that becomes a shady tunnel over the path to the inner gate once all the squash have rambled over it. There were several really good sized ones last year just as we moved in.

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abcdefg
4 hours ago, Jim said:

Good test of my Chinese because they've got strong local accents and are both pretty deaf so no can't get away with anything less than clear.

 

That is always a challenge. My neighborhood Taiji 太极拳 group had some old timers like that last year. Some days it was really difficult to muster the energy that it took to converse with them beyond a casual greeting. 

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abcdefg

Yesterday, with jiucai still on my mind, I stopped and ordered a batch of jiucai jiaozi 韭菜鲜肉水饺 for lunch at a stall where the boss 老板 is from Xi'an 西安。I usually have noodle dishes there, but this time I strayed from my norm. 

 

While the jiaozi were being stuffed and boiled in the back room, I munched one of his other specialties, rou jia mo 肉夹馍, which is one of China's original "sandwich" long before McDonald's ever made it to these shores. Cut up stewed fatty pork plus some peppers and scallion between the halves of a fresh-baked wheat bun. I had asked for mine to be on the lean side 瘦一点 for the sake of my waistline. 

 

5ad7eb4c729ab_roujia50.thumb.jpg.6c7d2ff923266cafb332a926b39ef976.jpg5ad7eb4ff3b1f_rou50.thumb.jpg.eb58d4ad34b7bb6f8a739c1ce4141703.jpg

 

  

The dumplings arrived soon, with a spicy, vinegar-based dipping sauce and a small dish of the boiling broth 饺子汤 on the side. Steamy and tender; good balance between meat and green vegetables. 

 

5ad7ebeff36ca_dumplings--50.thumb.jpg.4e72b0f79c4a6f34d24c11d1297986e4.jpg5ad7ebf5ba2ea_jiaozi55.thumb.jpg.1755250d9be2b7b9ae9656552729ed7a.jpg

 

Made for a very tasty casual lunch. Cost 13 Yuan total. 

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ChTTay

Same as elsewhere in China. Dumplings, fried with egg, inside baozi or another different kind of bread (picture s 肉饼 but with chives and egg inside instead). 

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