Bamboo Shoot Stir Fry

Many think Chinese foods make us fat. Not true, well, at least not all the Chinese foods make us fat.

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Assume stir fry is a kind of salad tossed in a hot bowl.

What you need:
Chinese cabbage, 10oz (300g)
1/2 medium carrot
1 can of young corns
1 Bamboo shoot, boiled and sliced, or 1 can
5-6 thick slices of bacon
A few tablespoons of oil
Salt and pepper
Sliced ginger, chopped garlic, optional
1.5 tbs of cornstarch mixed with 1 tbs of water

If you are lucky enough to have fresh bamboo shoots, here is how to prepare. How to Prepare Fresh Bamboo Shoots

About Chinese Cabbage
Chinese cabbage, or often called napa cabbage, is one of the most popular vegetable in East Asian cooking. The color is light, it is rather white than green, and it tastes sweeter than regular cabbage.
Good for soup, coleslaw, salad, and of course for stir fry.

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I believe that a well stocked local supermarket should carry them.

For sauce
Sugar, 1 tbs
Oyster sauce, 2tbs
Sake, 4 tbs
Soy sauce, 4 tbs
Mix all the above four ingredients well.

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Oyster Sauce
If you like international cooking, I guess you already have a bottle of soy sauce. Maybe garam masala, sesami oil, as well. Then next thing you should have is this sauce.

The oyster sauce is very useful flavor booster you can use almost anywhere. Unlike Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce, the oyster sauce is not fishy and its taste is rather sweet and full of Umami which comes from oyster extract. Try finding non-MSG version, it still tastes good.

How to Make:

1) Peel and slice carrot. Cut Chinese cabbage and bacon in a bite size. Cut young corns in half.

2) Heat a large frying pan or a Chinese wok over medium-high heat, then add oil. Add ginger and garlic if you like, and fry until fragrant.

3) Stir in bacon and fry until crispy.

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Actually, bacon is an easy alternative I suggested for non-Asian chefs. If you are seeking for more authentic flavor, try to find thick cuts of pork belly.

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I believe the best and healthiest way to prepare pork belly is to boil slow in strong tea.

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This method makes pork belly much less fatty, but still very tender and moist. Tannin in tea works to break down fat, but keeps collagen which helps to keep your skin younger and healthier looking. Sound good.

4) When bacon (or sliced pork belly) becomes crispy, turn the heat highest and add vegetables. The basic rule is to start with hard one, and finish up with soft one. So first off, add carrot.
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Then add bamboo shoots, followed by young corns. Stir in Chinese cabbage at the end.

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The reason why you should not put all at once in the pan is to avoid the sudden drop in the temperature there. Otherwise, vegetables in the pan will sweat too much and become watery and soft. Good stir fry should be crisp and fresh, just like a nice bowl of salad.

5) Stir fry for one minute of two over high heat, then pour in the sauce mixture. Mix thoroughly but quickly.

6) Pour in the cornstarch mixture. Again, mix thoroughly and quickly. Taste with salt and pepper if needed. Then immediately stop the heat.

Serve over rice and enjoy!
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You can use other vegetables, such as regular cabbage, bok choy, bell pepper, snow peas. Also use chicken or shrimp in addition to or instead of pork.

I have this recipe in Japanese, too.
タケノコの炒め物

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