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.
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.....