Traditional huevos rancheros with refried black beans and a green salsa.Note: You can use your favorite brand of refried beans or green salsa in place of the homemade.Read more: Huevos Rancheros Verdes (Fried Eggs With Green Salsa and Refried Beans) Recipe
Classic Dan Dan noodles are made with pork, pickled vegetables, and plenty of chili oil. In this version, we pack in all the flavor and texture with mushrooms fried until golden brown and chewy.
Note: Chinkiang vinegar is a black vinegar that can be found in most Chinese grocers or online. When shopping for chili oil, look for a brand that contains chili sediment in the bottle, such as the Chiu Chow Chili Oil from Lee Kum Kee (order online), or make your own. Fermented chili broad bean paste can be found in most Chinese grocers or online. Either preserved Sichuan mustard root (zhacai) or stems (yacai) can be used for this recipe. They are available in many Asian grocers in either bulk sections or canned, or online from Amazon. Shaoxing wine can be found in most supermarkets. If unavailable, use dry sherry in its place.
Read more: How to Make Real Deal Dan Dan Noodles, Vegan-StyleRead more: Classic Dan Dan noodles are made with pork, pickled vegetables, and plenty of chili oil. In this...
Simply simmered Chinese broccoli has a hearty flavor that pairs well with oyster sauce in this classic Cantonese preparation. Our version adds some fried garlic to the mix, using the flavorful garlic oil to amp up flavor.
Read more: Chinese Greens 101: Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce and Fried GarlicRead more: Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce and Fried Garlic Recipe
The current obsession with ramps, those wild leeks that go for a premium in farmers' markets and gourmet food stores, had me thinking about my own favorite garlick-y, leek-y vegetable: Chinese chives, or jiu cai. Though Chinese chives resemble the more recognizable chives used as herbs, the former are substantial and leafy, which places them squarely in the vegetable rather than the garnish camp. Garlicky in flavor and juicy and crisp in texture, jiu cai are commonly stir-fried or added to dumplings.
Thought to be more of a delicacy than jiu cai, Chinese yellow chives are chives that have been grown under cover without exposure to direct sunlight (hence the yellow pigment). Yellow chives are to regular jiu cai what firm tofu is to silken—the taste may be essentially the same, but the texture and flavor are far more delicate. As a third option, consider flowering chives: named for their hollow, light green stems and yellow buds, these stalks are light and crisp, though with considerably less garlicky flavor than either the green or yellow varieties.
At the risk of incensing ramp lovers everywhere, I happen to think that Chinese chives are superior to ramps as a sautéed vegetable. Hear me out: Ramps come with a bulbous white section that's juicy, but tastes mostly like onion, whereas Chinese chives are nothing but the tender, leafy greens. If I want a sautéed dish to have the white part of leeks in it, then I'll just go with leeks or shallots. Chinese chives, on the other hand, are all about the tender and crisp leaves that, when stir-fried briefly, explode with garlicky flavor and juice.
You'll find Chinese chives at Asian markets everywhere, along with the lesser known varieties of yellow and flowering—though of course, you'll probably smell them before you see them at the stalls. One advantage that ramps have over chives is that ramps don't give off noxious fumes in their raw state.
In my continuing efforts to replace the fresh air in public spaces with my own arrestingly pungent scents, my subway ride back home with Chinese chives was not without its share of amusement.
"Oh man, it smells garbage in here!" squealed one teenage girl to her friend. Then she covered her nose and turned away from me.
Though I'd never thought of chives as smelling like trashcan material, they are undeniably stinky. Put jiu cai in a room and your house will smell like nothing but chives. In any case, the adolescents remained unconvinced despite my earnest explanation that Chinese chives don't smell bad at all when cooked.
My favorite pairing for stir-fried jiu cai is eggs. Though pork is also commonly stir-fried alongside the vegetable, I think that eggs pair more elegantly with the tenderness of jiu cai. Eating a dish of pork and jiu cai will have you chewing on the meat long after the jiu cai have been masticated, but stir-fried eggs and jiu cai are equally tender. Add stir-fried jiu cai and eggs to a plate of rice cakes (nian gao) for a one-dish meal. If you have more time, try adding finely chopped jiu cai to your dumplings and wontons. Their garlicky flavor goes well with anything, and for a fraction of the price of ramps.Read more: Seriously Asian: Chinese Chives Recipe