Monday, June 04, 2012

Fry Ramps (Baby Leeks) and Five-Spice Tofu 青蒜干炒五香豆干

I had to try baby leeks or ramps before they were gone for the season. What can I say? I love them.

They were paired with store-bought five-spice marinated tofu - 五香豆干 (available in Asian grocery store - 99 Ranch, California) in a stir-fry, and just two ingredients can turn a stir-fry so so amazing!

Have you read the recent Bon Appetit issue where it mentioned about "56 cooking methods" in Chinese cuisine and frying styles can include - "cooked-frying" (煮炒), "small-frying" (小炒), "dry-frying" (干炒) etc.?

This home-cooked dish is a combination of "small-frying" (小炒), "dry-frying" (干炒) and "quick-frying (快炒)".

"Small-frying" (小炒): Making use of most basic and inexpensive ingredients in a quick stir-fry

"Dry-frying" (干炒): Making use of medium-heat frying to expel any moisture from the ingredients, so that the ingredients shine with accentuated flavors, fragrance, and sometimes texturally "crisp", without much sauce or gravy in the final dish

"Cooked-frying" (煮炒): One or more ingredients is already pre-cooked.

Stir-Fry Ramps (Baby Leeks) with Five-Spice Tofu 青蒜干炒五香豆干
-6 baby leeks ramps, rinsed, then sliced at the bias to finger-length, separate the bottom white parts and top green parts.
-2 small blocks of five spice tofu, sliced to thinness and similar length as baby leeks/ramps
-Pinch of red chili flakes
-Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Heat a little oil in the pan. Add the bottom white parts of ramps to the pan and saute for about 3 minutes. Then add the green portions and tofu and gently saute for about 3 minutes till the green leafy parts of ramps start to wilt. Cover the pan and allow steam to cook the mixture for about 3 minutes. Pinch of red chili flakes before serving and salt and ground white pepper to taste.

Ramps is also known as wild leeks - smells like garlic and taste like onions. It is almost only available during spring season and its season is short. Similar to the other members of the Allium familly e.g. garlic, onions; ramps have an abundance of vitamins, minerals and health benefits - e.g. high in Vitamin A and a natural rich source of selenium and folate. (Source:

Sharing Ramps/Baby Leeks with Weekend Herb Blogging WHB#337 hosted by Terry of Crumpets and Co.

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