garlic

The joys of garlic

Posted by Fuchsia on January 26, 2012
Cooking, Ingredients / 16 Comments

One Chinese vegetable that I always miss when I’m in London is green garlic, which the Sichuanese call suan miao 蒜苗 and people in other parts of China call qing suan 青蒜. These leafy, pungent alliums are the most common vegetable accompaniment to twice-cooked pork 回锅肉, and are also traditionally added to mapo tofu 麻婆豆腐. In Hunan, they are often used in simple stir-fries, perhaps with some of the glorious local smoked pork 腊肉. It’s rare to find them in England, so imagine my delight to find them on sale just before the Chinese New Year! You can see them on the righthand side of the chopping board in the picture on the left. As you will notice, they look very similar to Chinese green onions (a.k.a. scallions, spring onions), but they have flat leaves, like leeks, and a hint of purple around their bulbs. In my Sichuan cookery book I recommended using baby leeks for twice-cooked pork and spring onions for mapo tofu because green garlic is so rarely available, but if you can find it, snap it up and use it instead! (it takes rather less time to cook than baby leeks, and marginally longer than spring onions). Continue reading…

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