Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Return of the Green Lance: Braised with Ginger

Previously, I filled you all in on a new resident in our garden, the Green Lance, a hybrid Chinese broccoli variety (also called gai laan, spelled various ways). It is a very attractive Spring vegetable, a cruciferous family member that sets up a fleshy stalk that one cooks after there are several flowering buds. Inspired by the superhero name, I pounced upon some Green Lance recently

and harvested some more stalks to cook up in the Crispy Kitchen. The stalks definitely were woodier after some toughening in the early summer sun, so I would peel them at the base like one does to asparagus next time. I braised them with lots of slivered fresh ginger after learning a little bit about traditional Chinese cooking and the medicinal properties of various foods in "The Last Chinese Chef" by Nicole Mones. This book is the current selection of the foodie book club, Cook the Books, hosted this round by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen. If you would like to join us in reading this book and cooking up something inspired by your reading, check out the Cook the Books blog. The deadline for reading and blogging about our current book is August 28.

Anyway, we like the flavor of the Green Lance and it was braised up with some ginger to reduce the "wind" that has been causing various members of the Crispy Casa to sneeze and get congested during this damp and cool summer.

Green Lance Braised with Fresh Ginger

1 bunch Green Lance (or gai laan or Chinese broccoli), woody parts trimmed and sliced into one inch sections

2 Tbsp. peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (1 inch) piece gingerroot, peeled and slivered

2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Heat oil in wok until very hot. Add garlic and stir constantly for one minute. Add ginger and stir 1-2 minutes more, or until very fragrant.

Add Green Lance and stir-fry 3-4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and cover wok to steam another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove cover and add soy sauce and garlic and stir-fry another several minutes, or until Green Lance is tender.

Serves 4.

Haven't been blogging as much as I have been gardening and working hard at the bookshop (it's our busy season) but I will return soon with more gardening/cooking posts and a fuller Cook the Books post about "The Last Chinese Chef", which was a terrific read. It made me want to explore Chinese cooking and try out some new kitchen techniques, so stay tuned. And you never know when the Green Lance might just show up again.....


The Duo Dishes said...

Never heard of green lance before. Sounds like someone's having a great time exploring! Love it.

girlichef said...

Looks delicious...and makes me laugh :D I really enjoyed this book as well...and I'm right there with ya- made me want to explore Chinese cookery!

Sophie said...

I like the cape :)!! I don't know that I've ever heard of this but I like your holistic approach to staying healthy. I hope your family gets to enjoy the rest of their summer cold/sniffles free!

Foodycat said...

Such a glorious colour!

Debinhawaii said...

Love the picture and your braised green lance looks delicious. I am starting to dig out my Chinese cookbooks and decide on my CTB dish too!

Children's books fan said...

Sounds incredible... I'm always on the lookout for new types of leafy greens to cook: since they're such great sources of vitamins and minerals. One of my fave GF resources for cooking and overall gluten-free lifestyle tips:

Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) said...

I would so enjoy seeing your garden. I bet it's beautiful. I think that I like your incredible variety the most - you have so many unique veggies. Such fun!

Karine said...

Chinese veggies go so well together with ginger! :)

ARLENE said...

I did a double take when your photo came up. Great post, Rachel. I'm so impressed by your gardening efforts. The dish looks delicious, by the way. And so very green!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i know what you mean by woody stems in greens - we suffer from this a lot in our greens when the season gets too far set in. then again, we have so many greens that we dont have to rely on a limited range of sources, so we simply stop using one when it gets too woody and start using another