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CHINESE VEGETARIAN RECIPES

56. Stir fred Lily bulbs, black fungus and celery (Part 1)


These days in Spain, I totally fell in love with the food that my in-laws prepare. For lunch, my lovely mother-in-law would make different kinds of traditional rice dish (I eat until I couldn’t move :)) — I have been meaning to learn, but I got lost in all the ingredients she puts in, so have to try them down in my little notebook; for dinner, I am so amazed by how simple and nice the food is which my father-in-law made — I kept on asking him what ingredients/seasonings he puts in, so I can write down in my little notebook as well, he always says only “oil, garlic and salt — ya está” —

— In Chinese, we normally refer to all Western food as “Xi Can”, and think ‘Xi Can’ must be made with all different ‘western ingredients / seasonings”, that’s why the taste is so different to Chinese. But after traveling to Italy, having food in the local small bars, and seeing how my in-laws cooking Spanish food — no, ‘Xi Can’ can be simply made and still tasty.

Sorry for boasting my in-laws’ food and how lucky I am, :)) what I want to say is I begin to believe in ‘simplicity’ in cooking (where I used to think it has got to put many seasonings or cooking for long time to get the flavor out, for example, for making those ‘healthy recipes’ / ‘Yangsheng Cai’ or ‘Shiliao’– the popular food trend in China at the moment).

A simple and healthy Chinese recipe

This recipe, is really simple and healthy — simply stir fry the root of ‘Lily’ with black fungus and celery.

It is just a quick stir fry with garlic, the real ‘healthy part’ is the three main ingredients.

The bulb of the Lily

The bulb of the ‘Lily’ in Chinese is called “Bai He”. “Bai He’ was been recorded in Chinese medicine centuries ago. It is the part of ‘Lily’ plant that is ‘under’ the ground. In medical terms, ‘Bai he’ is rich in proteins, calcium, iron and vitamins, etc.–sorry, some terms I don’t even know how to say.:)

The bulb of the Lily can go with Chinese herbal medicines , as well as with daily food. It can be boiled with rice congee, stir fried with different vegetables, or soup… Depending how you make it, it will have different effect. Nowadays, having ‘Bai he’ is very popular among girls — it improves the skin’s texture.

The bulb of Lily is normally sold in two forms — fresh ones and dried ones, the latter need to be soaked into water first before cooking. In England, I could not find the fresh ones, so I normally buy dried ones from Chinese supermarket, it is not very, very cheap, but not bad price, and really worth it. :))

Black fungus and celery

As for black fungus (Mu’er), its properties could boost iron intake, blood circulation, and very helpful for detox as well. (see the post black fungus – health theory)

The third main ingredient is celery. Celery in the Chinese medicine ‘bible’ Bencao Gaomu’ is recorded as ‘good for stopping bleeding, help with high blood pressure, loosing weight…’. There are different types of celery depending to where it grows, for example, in China, northern celery is slight different to southern celery, and in general, the stem of Chinese celery is slimmer and juicier than the celery we normally buy from the supermarkets over here in England. Western celery was introduced to northern China around 20 years ago, (or more? I don’t remember). But in this recipe, it is western celery used in cooking the dish.

The combination of these three ingredients is very popular in warm days, when you just get a bit restless in heat, or sudden weather change, and lost taste in food. :) It can help with detoxification, clearing up the skin textural, calming down the mind. So if you have swinging mood, uneven skin surface, regular insomnia, and headache, it is said that good to have this dish. But as I mentioned in the previous post, ‘yang sheng cai’ (healthy recipe) is not medicine, it doesn’t work immediately, but benefit in a long term, so it is good to have it regularly.

And Differ to the ‘usual’ Chinese healthy recipe, this one is just simple like my father-in-law would say, ‘just oil, garlic and salt’. :)) Good for somebody like me — lazy, but want to eat healthily. Je, je…

(Too long now, the recipe will be continuing tomorrow then).

Related posts:

8. Chinese vegetarian recipe: Black fungus and cucumber salad
75. A sweet corn recipe: Chinese stir fried sweet corn and pine nuts
77. Chinese flat bread with scallion: Cong You Bing (V)
114. Hot and sour soup -- Northeast Chinese style (V)

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