In November’s edition of Keeping It Fresh, Charles visits with the owner of Chong’s Farm from Fresno; a specialty grower for Asian vegetables and herbs. Chong is a new addition to the Saturday morning SLO Farmers Market and shows up with unique, hard-to-find Asian vegetables that have never been offered in our area before. Listen to November’s Keeping It Fresh:
There’s a new Farmer at the Saturday morning farmers market, Chong’s Farm from Fresno. He brings exotic Asian produce to our area. Below are a few recipes that will help introduce some of these vegetables.
Szechuan Braised Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
Super easy recipe that turns out mildly spicy with complexity.
2 medium Chinese or Long Green Eggplant cut the ends, slice lengthwise twice, then dice into 3/4″ cubes
Mix together in a small bowl:
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 scallion, finely chopped
Mix the sauce together in a small bowl:
1 1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce (available at Asian markets)
1 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce (available at Asian markets)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbs Chinese rice wine, mirin, or dry sherry
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 Cup chicken broth
Mince 1/4 – 1/2 cup pork shoulder ( or use ground pork)
in a small bowl, mix the pork with:
1/4 tsp cornstarch and season with black pepper
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (available at Asian markets)
Heat wok, add 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil on med/high
Add garlic ginger, scallion mix and stir fry for 10 seconds
Add pork & chili garlic sauce
Stir fry for 1 minute until the pork turns white, break into pieces
Add the eggplant and stir fry for 3 minutes or so
Add the soy sauce mixture and reduce the heat to low/medium and simmer for 10 minutes until the eggplant is tender,
Mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water and pour into the middle of the wok and stir quickly to thicken the sauce. Serve over rice.
Pork & Noodle Stuffed Mo Qua (fuzzy melon)
Depending on the size, 2 or 3 Mo Qua
2 oz thin rice noodles
Combine 1/2 lb minced pork with:
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp sesame oil
For the sauce combine:
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup sliced shitake or other mushrooms
Reconstitute noodles in hot water for about 10 minutes until softened. Drain & chop coarsely.
Either peel or rub roughly to remove some of the fuzz on the squash, depending how prominent it is.
Cut into mo qua 1 1/2 inch slices crosswise, then with a melon scooper, scoop out a bit to create a space for the filling in the “bowl”.
Combine the pork mixture with half of the softened noodles. Spoon into the “bowls” created by the squash slices and press down. Then dip the mo qua slices meat side down in the remain noodles to coat the squash a bit.
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the sauce ingredients. Add the mo qua slices with the stuffing side up. Cover and braise for about 15 minutes, spooning sauce over the squash occasionally.
Add sliced mushrooms cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the squash and reduce the sauce if necessary, then pour over sliced, stuffed mo qua.
Stir Fried Chinese Long Beans
The trick to this recipe is to dry fry the beans until the skin starts to pucker and brown and the beans turn tender
1 lb Chinese long beans
(trim long beans, cut into 2 – 3 inch pieces)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 scallions, finely chopped (not too much green)
1/2 tsp chili paste
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 Tbsp vegetable oil for stir-frying (or as needed)
Heat wok to medium – add 1 Tbsp oil Add long beans and stir fry for 7 minutes until they brown and pucker
Remove to a colander
Heat remaining oil in wok, stir fry ginger, garlic, scallions and chile paste briefly until flavors are released
Add beans back with dark soy sauce, sugar, salt & pepper. Stir for a minute and serve.