Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Broccolini with Streaky Oyster Sauce, Golden Shallots- simplicity rules!

One vegetable is a welcoming addition to the ever growing options in the produce aisle; and the other herb is what Australians sometimes refer to as green onions - when to some of us, it's not.

I can't pimp enough of broccolini! I can't get enough of shallots !

I can't keep the secret...it's my first time trying broccolini! :O And there should be no secret that Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) is at #104 and 2 years old.
I can't thank enough...to the wonderful host, Kalyn, at Kalyn's Kitchen. For doubly delish WHB, going by "simplicity rules" with Broccolini with Streaky Oyster Sauce and Golden Shallots.

Broccolini is a hybrid - NOT a genetically modified organism but a natural hybrid. This bright green vegetable has long, slender stalks - of Kai Lan, Chinese kale + a bouquet of tiny buds - of a miniature broccoli head. A surprisingly tender and sweet cross between broccoli and Chinese kale (also known as Gai Lan, Kai Lan or Chinese chard). The unique vegetable resembles broccoli or asparagus in physical appearance, with long stalks topped by delicate buds. Broccolini, known as asparation in Europe and as baby broccoli in the United States.

Dripping flavors

Broccolini took off in gourmet cuisine in the 1990s and became widespread in supermarkets shortly thereafter. When cooking broccolini, less is more and going back to basics is the best.

Broccolini with Streaky Oyster Sauce and Golden Shallots
Ingredients: Broccolini, oyster sauce, shallots sliced thinly
Directions: Slice shallots thinly and fry till golden brown, resulting in tiny crispy shallots, picture below (Note: do not over-fry them as when "burnt", they are as bitter-tasting as "burnt" garlic). Blanch broccolini in boiling water, or steam them till tender, then drizzle with oyster sauce and sprinkle with fried shallots.

Of course, I wish to tell you more about shallots and how they are used as part of recipe, condiment, and garnish in Asian cuisine. Fried shallots also enhance the flavor of many Indonesian dishes such as opor ayam (chicken curry) and Indonesian-style fried rice variants.

Unlike onions where each plant normally forms a single bulb, shallots form clusters of offsets just like garlic. Shallots have a mild taste that combines the flavor of a sweet onion with a hint of garlic.

The result? A subtle sweet, tender slightly crunchy green vegetable with edible flowering buds and slim stems.

No fancy culinary footwork. Broccolini with Streaky Oyster Sauce and Golden Shallots is THE chinese gourmet style vegetables that you will love. :D

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