Chinese Cooking

James Waddick
Thu, 09 Oct 2008 06:43:20 PDT
Dear Daxin,

>	The common name for Houttuynia cordata in Chinese is Fish 
>Smell Grass, and
>even in China only people from the southern provinces such Guizhou and
>Guangxi really appreciate its flavor.

	Yes, the rhizomes have a pretty intense flavor -and aroma!. I 
had it in a small village in Yunnan years ago, but I can (almost) 
still taste it !

>	One tuber/corm that is ever available in Asian markets is 
>Eleocharis dulcis,
>or Chinese Water Chestnut. These are very easy to grow in a shallow pond.

	This is an uncommon (botanically), tuberous sedge, but common 
in China and the US.

	This reminded me of another  tuberous sedge, Chufa or 'ground 
almond or Cyperus esculenta. I am sort of surprised this has not been 
exploited more as a human food. The underground tubers are nutrient 
rich and very tasty.

>Another water vegetable that is only available in the fall is Trapa

	I have bought this  in markets near China towns in New York 
and Philadelphia. These menacing black, seed pods are cracked open to 
reveal a white heart shaped seed that is fairly bland. I've never 
seen it in Chinese dishes although it can be added to soups and stir 
fries.  See

>When I first came to the U.S. in 1990, I could not find celtuce. They
>started to become available only four or five years ago.

	Might make it to the middle of the US some day. I can hope.

>Also becoming available is young flower stalks of garlic, which was 
>one of my favorite

	This is an easy garden veg to harvest. Simply remove stalks 
before the flower. Most often Garlic Chive (Allium tuberosum) flower 
stalks are sold in Asian Markets, but any garlc flower stems can be 
cooked an eaten. I agree these are great "foods from bulbs".

	Any other bulbous food rarities?		Best	Jim W.

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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