Presentation on theme: "Vegetables of China. Prepared for students in Ethnobotany in China, a Study Abroad course at Eastern Illinois University taught by Gordon C. Tucker and."— Presentation transcript:
Vegetables of China
Prepared for students in Ethnobotany in China, a Study Abroad course at Eastern Illinois University taught by Gordon C. Tucker and Zhiwei Liu
Chinese Vegetables Many cultivated species are familiar to North Americans Some are familiar to us from Asian restaurants Some are available at the supermarket, farmers market, or specialty store Many are essentially unknown outside Asia (or Asian communities in large cities)
Market Edibles Green Acres Farm at the Chicago Green City Market. They specialize in organic vegetables with a broad selection of Asian varieties.
Chinese Cuisine In general, the further south you go, a greater variety of plant foods (both fruits and vegetables) are available The southern regions of China use a greater diversity of vegetables
Diversity Some 31,000 plant species are found in China, representing nearly one- eighth of the world's total plant species, including thousands found nowhere else on Earth. By comparison, the United States and Canada together support ca. 21,000 native and naturalized plant species ss/plants.htm ss/plants.htm
Cai ( 菜 ) In Chinese, "Cai" ( 菜 ) not only literally means green leafy vegetable, but also usually refers to the food for dining overall. Its counterpart, "Rou" (meat) doesn't share the same parallel. Cai is almost "heaven" for Chinese people, who have a saying that "Food is Heaven."
Chinese Legumes: Snow Peas Also called edible pod peas, these are the same species as sweet peas grown in the U.S. Extensively used in stir fries throughout China Often served in Asian restaurants in the U.S.
Dou miao is also known as pea tips or pea shoots – Mandarin: He lan do (peas); Dou miao (shoots) – Cantonese: Ho lan dow (peas); Dow miu (shoots) same species as snow peas. Can be eaten raw or stir- fried or steamed.
Yardlong Bean Vigna sesquipedalis A pod producing climbing annual plant grown in E Asia The pods range from 30 to 80 cm Similar to a green bean Dou jiao
Glycine Soybean Native to eastern Asia domesticated in China –US and Brazil top growers –Both export to China oil, protein –tofu, soy bean oil, soy sauce, fermented soy beans –ingredient in many food products
Soybeans Glycine max Domesticated in China Consumed since about 3000 B.C.E. Emperor Sheng-Nung considered soybeans to be one of five sacred plants (rice, wheat, barley, millet)
Tofu (bean curd) dao-fu made from coagulated protein from soybeans tofu threads are used like noodles pickled tofu smoked tofu (right) fragrant (stinky) tofu
Brassicaceae Mustard Family 4 petals 6 stamens (4 long, 2 short) silique (capsule with false septum) all herbs Pungent flavor Includes numerous Chinese and Western vegetables
Some Chinese Brassicaceae
Mustard Family The genus Brassica includes most of the cultivated species. The taxonomy is confusing. The wild ancestors of the cultivated Brassicas were similar to Brassica nigra, at right
Jie-cai ( 芥菜, Mustard Leaf) also called Qing-cai Brassica juncea var. foliosa This plumpish vegetable in spring and summer tastes bitter and sweetish, but is very healthy. Its cooling quality is good for those who suffer from summer heat. Found all over China, it is rarely seen outside Asia. The large kind of Jie-cai can be cured with spices and sauce to be seasoned pickles while the small one is for a dish called Chun-cai (the vegetable in spring). When the Chinese pickle vegetables, the vegetable are typically dried somewhat before pickling
Zha cai literally "pressed vegetable" a type of pickled mustard stem originating from Sichuanpickled In English, it is called Sichuan vegetable, or Chinese pickled vegetable
Zha cai The pickle is made from the knobby, fist-sized, swollen green stem (literally "pressed vegetable") of Brassica juncea Brassica juncea subspecies tatsai is a species of mustard plant. The stem is first salted, pressed, and dried before being rubbed with hot Chili pepper paste and allowed to ferment in an earthenware jar. The taste is a combination of spicy, sour, and salty, while the aroma is similar to sauerkraut.ferment Although originating in Sichuan, zha cai is also used frequently in the cuisines of southern China, particularly in a soup made with ground pork and rice noodles and Rice congee It is generally sliced into thin strips and used in small amounts due to its extreme saltiness, although this saltiness can be tempered somewhat by soaking the strips in water prior to use.
Chinese Cabbage Brassica rapa var. pekinensis The head is up to 35 cm long Outer leaves are light green with a white midrib The inner leaves are creamy yellow Egg rolls, etc.
Flat flowering Chinese leaf cabbage Brassica campestris (Chinensis group var. utilis) Cantonese: Nai yow choy Mandarin: ??
Bai-cai ( 白菜, Chinese Cabbage) Bai-cai means "white vegetable" in Chinese, with its white stem and leave bases. It originated in North China and is the most popular staple vegetable across the country. You might be confused by the diversity of Bai-cais. There are mainly two kinds – Xiao Bai-cai ("small" in Chinese) and Da Bai- cai ("large"). Xiao Bai-cai is called baby bok- choy in US
Bok Choy is also known as Chinese white cabbage. Leaves are sweet and the stems are similar to celery except for the stringiness. High in vitamin A, vitamin C and Calcium Baby Bok Choy is sweeter and contains beta-carotene and folate.
Shanghai Bok Choy is the most popular vegetable used in Chinese cooking. Miniature Bok Choy is very crunchy. Yu Choy is a member of the cabbage family. Brassica rapa var. parachinensis The seeds are used to make a vegetable oil. The two main distinguishing features are yu choy has yellow flowers (Chinese broccoli has white flowers) and yu choy has a thinner stem.
Gai Lan is also known as Chinese broccoli and is a very popular vegetable. Very high in vitamin A and C as well as Fe and Ca.
Cai-xin ( 菜心 ). Cai-xin in soup Cai-xin tastes refreshing and somewhat sweet, especially the Gaojiao type originating from Zengcheng in Guangzhou. When you want to find this kind of "noble" vegetable in a market, pick the ones with unusually long stalks. A Gaojiao ("Long leg" in Chinese) Cai-xin normally has at least a 35-cm-long stalk.
Jie-lan ( 芥兰, Chinese kale) Brassica alboglabra a crisp local plant in South China looks somewhat like Cai-xin. When you have a cold sore throat or asthma, Jie-lan will help.
Bao-cai ( 包菜, Cabbage) Brassica oleracea var. capitata Small diced bits of meat and beans wrapped in its big leaves are adored by Guangdong gourmets.
Cauliflower Brassica oleracea var. botrytis Yang-bai-cai, lian- hua-bai cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower are varieties of the same species
Cauliflower The edible portion is the white curd-like mass of a close aggregation of abortive flowers on thick branches produced at the top of a short stem. No part of the inflorescence is apparent in a curd. During development, the large green leaves cover to exclude light and that results in the brilliant whiteness of the curd. Uses It is eaten cooked as a vegetable, boiled and eaten with sauces or pickled.
Xiyang-cai ( 西洋菜, Watercress) Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum This fragrant cai, with its small and flowery leaves, came into China from Europe, as its name suggests – Xiyang means "the Western World" in Chinese. commonly used in bean curd soup It can bring soothing warmth against winter chill It is believed that this vegetable is good for the lungs and can ease dryness in the human body, and is thus adored by locals during the winter.
Turnips Turnips are a root vegetable from the Mustard Family Xiaoshan air-dried turnip originated in Zhejiang Province. Someone put the dried turnips in a small-mouthed jar, and sealed the jar with mud. When the person opened the jar one year later, he found that the turnips had a yellow and bright luster, a strong scent, and a salty and sweet taste. They were even more delicious than fresh turnips. It is so popular that as whenever the name “Xiaoshan” is mentioned, “dried turnip” would be blurted out. Today, the air-dry technique has been replaced by the more convenient and swift salt dehydration technique. Although the latter is easier and brings more economic benefits, products made with this technique cannot be compared with air-dried turnips.
Parsley Family Aromatic herbs and vegetables Many are biennial plants Roots, stems, petioles, leaves, or seeds are used, depending on species Cryptotaenia canadensis, 鸭儿芹, ya-er-cai, called highland celery or duck vegetable, at right,
Cilantro and Coriander Coriander is the seeds, cilantro the leaves Native to the eastern Mediterranean Used in Spanish, Mexican, Thai, and Chinese cooking
Qin-cai ( 芹菜, Celery) Chinese celery has more slender stalks than the typical western cultivar Celery is an elegant and robust vegetable with a nice aroma that is good for the health.
Qin-cai ( 芹菜, Celery) Stir-fried Qin-cai with meat slices. It can help improve blood circulation and beautify the skin, and is also appreciated by the elderly as it can lower blood pressure. It even cools down the "hotness" in your body.
Carrots Carrots originated in Afghanistan, but are now grown worldwide Orange carrots were developed in Europe in the 1700’s “In China, only barbarians eat raw carrots.” Hu Shiu-ying Carrot shreds or slices are included in numerous Chinese dishes, both in China and the America
Books The Food of China, By E. N. Anderson Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China (Hardcover) by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid Food Plants of China by Hu Shiu-ying
References 1230/17/4UE7246O U_2.html 1230/17/4UE7246O U_2.html Continued on part 2