Cooking greens Chinese style
Leafy green vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber but low in calories. And so eating greens can provide numerous health benefits, such as a reduced risk of: heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, inflammation and more. Greens are a cruciferous vegetable. Dark green leafy are a great source of nutrition which contain high levels of antioxidants. My Dad was a southern boy who grew up eating greens. When I first met my wife, she introduced me to the value of eating greens, and they were an essential part of our diet. Authentic Chinese meals will always include greens. This summer my wife planted her first garden, and we have been enjoyed piles of her organically grown greens.
Before she traveled back to China for her father’s funeral, my wife picked a large bucket of greens to make sure I stayed healthy. Cooking greens is not complicated, and they provide enormous health benefits. I will put a link at the end to several websites that introduce the joy of eating various types of greens. Your local supermarket probably has a selection of greens, such as turnip greens, collards, and bok choy. If your city has an Asian supermarket you are in luck, because they will have a large selection of greens. And you are even luckier if you grow your own greens.
The critical step in cooking greens is making sure they are cleaned properly. Greens need to be washed thoroughly. This is especially true of freshly picked greens. Wash the entire plant first. Then wash individual leaves. Pay careful attention to wherever soil might hide. Cut the ends the tougher ends off to make the leaf more tasty. Finally, wash the leaves as you cut or tear them into smaller pieces. Set the washed greens aside.
Sometimes my wife likes to cook a fried egg to add protein to the dish. Heat a bit of oil in your pan. Add some garlic, fresh or dried. Stir. Add the greens slowly, stirring as you add. Keep adding until your pan is full. Cook on a medium heat to avoid scorching. As the water boils out of the greens, they will reduce in size.
Add a dash of salt as you cook. Keep stirring to evenly distribute the salt. Next add some sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, or whatever sauce you enjoy. Stir and let the green finish cooking. Once the greens have been reduced in volume by about fifty percent, they are ready to serve.
Greens are a side dish. Because they cook so quickly, you can cooked them last, so they keep their freshness. Greens go with any Chinese food. They are an important part of every Chinese person’s daily diet. Make them a part of your diet, and you will enjoy the incredible health benefits of this green superfood.
Here are a few websites to help you learn more about the amazing variety of greens available in your local Asian supermarket. Enjoy your greens 🙂