Chinese blanched vegetables with two dressings.This is a very popular vegetable mix in China, using the very basic cooking skills of blanching. We usually serve this as a side dish, healthy, nourishing in most cases crunchy and clean.
Balancing possibly is the most important theory in Chinese cooking. And in my favorite cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, dishes are required to get their own special flavor and texture. We describe this as "百菜百味", literally means one hundred dishes should have one hundreds flavors. You can find very heavy and hot dishes in Sichuan cuisine and also extremely light dishes like this one.
In Cantonese cuisine, blanched vegetables are also largely used as a plating ingredients or common home cooking side dish, aiming to get the most original flavors of vegetables. This also present a good Chinese Nutrition theory, eating as many types of food (better differ in color ) as possible.
I highly recommend matching this with Hong Shao Rou, Water boiled dishes and twice cooked pork belly from Sichuan cuisine. And roasted pork belly , scallion oil chicken and roasted pork belly with honey. Every piece of meat makes those vegetables more refreshing.
In Chinese cuisine, balance is kept at a wider range, not a single dish or several dishes, but the entire meal. In general, there are lots of traditional dishes contains lots of fat and oil introducing red braised pork belly, twice cooked pork belly and other deep-fried dishes. But if someone follow real Chinese style diet, he or she in most cases can keep a slim body. We do eat lots of vegetables every meal. However, obesity is also a rising risk in China since too much meat consumed and the modernized life style.
I introduce two different versions of dressing, one is extremely simple with any salt, sugar and sesame oil to keep the original taste and the other one is with savory and hot dressing to create a totally different and more appealing taste.
If red oil and other seasonings including soy sauce is used, the blank vegetables can absorb the flavors and turn themselves as the best carrier for the seasonings. The original tastes hidden at the very ends.
Tips for blanching vegetables
- Add salt and sesame oil. A small amount of salt and sesame oil during the blanching process can help to add a very basic flavor of the vegetables and keep the colors.
- Do not kill the vegetables. I recommend removing the vegetables out once the water boils once again.
- Stop the heat immediately after transferring out by soaking the ingredients in chilled cold water.
Chinese Blanched Vegetables
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup cauliflower
- 2 celery , cut into small sections
- ½ carrots , sliced
- 1 small section lotus root , peeled and sliced
- ½ cup rehydrated wood ear mushrooms , optional
- salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- ½ tbsp. sesame oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- 1 garlic cloves ,smashed
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- ½ tbsp. black vinegar
- ½ tbsp. chili oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boiling. Add a small pinch of salt and around 1 teaspoon of sesame oil.
- Place the vegetables in. Continue heating until the water once boiled. If you want them to be softer, continue heating for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Transfer the vegetables to chilled water to stop heating. Then drain completely.
- Add seasonings, mix well and enjoy!
I am an Australian farmer and teacher. 10 times visit Chengdu to enjoy food and tea culture. Return again in March. Love your recipes and chatter.
Thanks Warwick for leaving me such a great comment.
Thanks sharing this recipe. My mama make this recipe without the lotus and she put some crunchy water chestnuts instead.and it tastes delicious.
Thanks Maggie for the feedback. I am extremely happy to know you tried it and loved the result. I am quite upset bring such simple recipes. But they really worth sharing. Happy cooking!
Hey Elaine, nice post ! It's true that traditional Chinese dishes contain lots of fat and oil. I tried one of your tip to add a small amount of salt and sesame oil to vegetables and as you mentioned, it truly helped in keeping the basic flavor of the vegetables and the colors intact. Thanks for sharing this dish.
You get the tip, Ella. Happy cooking!