The Chinese New Year is upon us and 2012, the Year of the Dragon, is said to be a particularly lucky one. Lately I've been noticing many recipes for Chinese stir-fries and salads made with Asian greens, so I thought it'd be fitting to post a brief introduction here today.
In The Chicago Tribune last week, Bill Daley wrote about stir-fry greens, specifically Chinese greens (Bok Choy, Chinese Broccoli, Napa Cabbage) cooked the Chinese way, "fast, simple, and deliciously."
When it comes to cooking his greens, Daly turns to Asian stir-fry expert, Grace Young, who offers her own advice for buying and preparing them. In short: like anything, choose good quality vegetables and make sure they're not flowering or blemished. Buy them close to the time when you're planning on using them so they'll be fresh and delicious. When it's time to actually prepare them, wash and dry them well and remember that with high-heat cooking like stir-frying, olive oil really isn't the best choice (Young recommends peanut, canola, or grapeseed oil). There's certainly more to know, and a wealth of resources out there if and when you're ready to satiate your Asian cooking curiosity. Here are a few good starting points:
• Read more about Asian greens: Know Your Asian Greens
• Read more about stir-frying: Grace Young's Books
• Check out advice on Chinese stir-fry: Terry Tan's 10 Tips
• Experiment in the kitchen: Grace Young's Recipes
Related: Recipe Review: Chinese Broccoli and Five-Spice Sauce
(Image: Emily Ho)