Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sauteed Chinese Mustard Greens

I think Mustard Greens are an acquired taste.  I love them now, but as a child, I tried some raw and they tasted very bitter. However, I ate them in many ways without knowing it and my favorite was when they were salted, which we called Pickled Vegetables.  Now that I'm a lot older, I've grown to love all the bitter greens, even when they are raw and I think Mustard Greens are a lot like Arugula - wonderfully peppery and spicy.  I've also learned to cook them with just a pinch of sugar, as that times their bite. They go wonderfully with any fatty meat and are very good for you. They are part of the Brassica family, which are all anti-cancer vegetables and are full of vitamins. In Chinese Medicine, they are considered good for treating bladders and bleeding.  In this recipe, I sauteed them with lightly browned onions for extra sweetness and also some garlic slices. I finished the Mustard Greens with a bit of chicken broth and toasted Sesame Oil.  It's a wonderful vegetable to add to your repertoire!

Sauteed Chinese Mustard Greens

1 big bunch Mustard Greens, washed
1/2 onion, sliced into small pieces
2 large garlic cloves slice)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil (I used Safflower)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

Pull the leafy part of the Mustard Greens off the ribs and tear into small pieces.  Heat a wok or large frying pan and add in the oil.  Put in the onions and garlic slices and stir until the onions begin to brown and caramelize (be careful not to burn the garlic slices).  Add in the Mustard Greens and the salt and sugar.  Stir until the Mustard Greens wilt.  Add in the Chicken Broth and cook a few minutes longer until most of the broth cooks away. Sprinkle with Toasted Sesame Oil and serve.

Five Element Analysis

Mustard Greens are leafy greens so they belong primarily to the Wood Element but the bitterness of this vegetable makes it a Fire food as well.  The onion because it caramelizes and gets sweet belongs to the Earth Element and the sugar adds a little bit more. The garlic contributes the Metal Element and the Sesame Oil contributes just a bit of the Water Element.  This is the primarily a Wood/Fire food and is a good addition to a meal with a main dish that is a Water Element, like pork with some rice for some more of the Metal Element.

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