The Chinese and their Greens (Part 1/12)


Sautéed choysum with minced garlic and ginger slices

Having just returned from a 9-day trip to Melbourne to visit my first-born, I have learned many things. One is that kids don't miss you when you are around so send them away for school if possible. Second is that when one is in Hong Kong, eat more Chinese greens as they are neither easily accessible or cheap in many other parts of the world. Take the ubiquitous staple on virtually every local Chinese family dinner table 'CHOYSUM' as an example. What I found in supermarkets and in Chinatown Melbourne were elongated plants that were virtually all stalks and had very few of those luscious, sweet, emerald green leaves. Worse yet, it costs 4 times more than it does in Hong Kong unless it's typhoon season when the wind and rain wipe out entire crops.


All it takes is a wok, some minced garlic, a few slices of ginger and some seasonings to whip up a comforting dish that is as sweet, tender and delicious as life itself. Although I don't teach this simple dish in my cooking classes, I don't see why I wouldn't if I am asked? It's a dish fit for a queen!


As a little reminder...don't forget to ask for the free spring onion/green onion (pronounced 'cheong') when buying your fresh produce at the local wet markets in Hong Kong. I paid a hefty HK$10 a bunch in the western hemisphere.


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