Friday, May 20, 2011

Double happiness 紅白報喜

This is a dish that I like very much since I was little. It's colorful and starchy. I guess little kids love soft and soupy food; it's easier for them to chew and swallow. Same idea; it is also good for elderly people. Starchy vegetables are like potatoes or yams (山藥). I like to add some carrots for more colors and nutrition.

  • 1 lb. potatoes or yams (山藥), skin removed
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • a few sclices of ginger
  • 1 scallion, chopped  
  • Seasoning: salt or chicken powder, a few Tbsp sesame oil

Cut everything into thin slices, about 1.5-2 inches long. I didn't peel off the skin from the carrots, because most of the nutrition is near the skin. Use equal amount of potatoes and carrots. Heat up a few Tbsp oil in a pan,  add ginger and put carrots and potatoes in pan. Stir to allow vegetables mix with oil well. It will become starchy already. Add two cups of water. Cover and cook on medium heat until thick (about 4 min). The vegetables should be soft and easily mashed. If not, add more water and cook longer. Season with salt and sesame oil. Add more water if desire. Sprinkle chopped scallions on top. Serve.

Yam (山藥)
Since we try to introduce more whole foods into our diet, we start eating whole grain rice mixed with white rice now (at 1:1 ratio). We use a mix of red rice, brown rice, barley, buckwheat and oats. It is very colorful and much more tasty than just white rice alone. I use equal amount of water to cook the rice in a rice cooker, without pre-soaking the rice either. I like the doneness, but it might be a little hard for my husband. So he likes this starchy dish to go with the rice, a nice combination.

I think this dish is a very nice addition during Chinese New Year. Red is the color during Chinese New Year, and this colorful dish brings a lot of happiness to the table.

Potatoes and yams are nutrient root vegetables. They are high on fiber, minerals and vitamins. Potatoes are a moderate source of iron, vitamin B, C and antioxidants. Yams (山藥) is highly valued in Chinese medicine. The best part is that it has a lot of mucin, a glycosylated protein that is abundant in epithelial cells, like the cells aline the surface of our digestive tract or airway. They are the key component of most gel-like secretions, very important for our immune system.

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