Monday, May 23, 2011
Brassicas or Crucifers are a group of vegetables that include stuff like cabbages, choy sum, radish, daikon, mustard, brussels sprouts, cauliflowers and broccoli. Brassicas are good for you as they are high in vitamin C, soluble fibre and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals with potential anti-cancer properties. Most of the vegetables we consume are from this family, even Wasabi is.
Kailan is a member of the Brassica family. It has leaves that seem to have a layer of bloom over it. When I was a kid, I was scared to eat it, because I was told by my “smart” brother, that whitish silvery layer contains mercury. Well, up until today, I don’t think I still believe that, but then again, I don’t know how much truth there is to there. Haha!
When I saw this dish on Elin’s, I knew I just got to try this. It’s so special. I think she used the same type of kailan as I did. Or maybe she really did use baby kailans as I can’t really see from the pics. FYI, baby kailans here are really miniature kailan, that really looks like a kailan with long petioles, a stem but in miniature form. The stem is just anywhere 5mm-8mm thick only. But it’s long, up to 6 inches in length. Hong Kong kailan is about the same length, but the stems are fatter and leaves are thicker. But looks wise, similar. Regular kailans can have stems with similar width as Hong Kong Kailans but much larger, up to 1 ft in length. But then again, feel free to use whichever kailan you prefer.
Braised Taro with Kailan
Recipe source: Elin Luv Tidbits
250gm taro (cleaned weight), cut thumbsized
2 Tbsp dried shrimp
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
2 cups water
500gm Hong Kong Kailan
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
2. Put in salt and oil. Blanch kalian for 1-2 minutes (I like mine not too cooked)
3. Remove from water and rinse with cold water. Set aside. (Or you can do step 1-3 while you braise the taro, if you have more than one available stove)
4. In a wok, heat up and put in 2 tbsp of cooking oil.
5. Put in garlic and dried shrimp and fry until fragrant.
6. Put in taro and cook for 1 minute. Put in water and simmer on medium low heat until taro turns soft and the gravy looks creamy. (Remember to check water once a while)
7. Put in salt, sugar and pepper.
8. Return blanched kailan to wok and toss it around. Cook until the kalian warms up again.
9. Dish up and serve.
*It's a bit sad that my taro is not that creamy, no matter how long I braise it. Buying taro is sometimes like buying lottery. Haha. Even Thai taro may not give me favourable results each time. But the overall dish is indeed nice.