The Oriental vegetables section is about to liven your favourite dishes and will encourage you to try something completely new, to excite your meal times. There are so many greens to choose from, from all around the world. You could eat a new vegetable every day of the year and not run out of something new and different to try. Here is a handy guide of the most regularly used vegetables for your Korean and Chinese dishes. Let us know how you get on cooking with them and whether you enjoyed the flavour, on one of our social media channels.

Chinese chives

Chinese chives are also known as garlic chives. They have much flatter and broader leaves than the chives you are used to using. The leaves are typically green, although there are some varieties that are yellow. Chinese chives have a much stronger flavour than the chives you can get in the UK supermarkets, they add a fuller and more bodied flavour to your dish. They have a garlic undertone, so make a great substitute for people who don't like the sometimes overpowering flavour of garlic cloves, they are much more subtle and give the other flavours in your dish more chance to be appreciated. Chinese chives can be used in the same way as their UK cousins. Add them to soups, salads or noodles for an extra punch of flavour.

Chinese Leaves

Often referred to as Chinese cabbage, these delicate leaves take on the flavour of other elements of your dishes. So, when cooking with it, make sure you add it at the very last minute to retain the nutrients and crunchy texture. Chinese leaves, like the common cabbage, have many varieties, and each has a slightly different flavour and appearance. They can be eaten raw or cooked; they make an interesting additional element to a salad or sandwich.

Beansprouts

The beansprout is the first sprout of a plant to appear from a seed. They can be grown from chickpeas, lentils, mung beans and more! The sprouts have a delicate flavour and add an exciting texture and crunch to your dishes.

Lily Mushroom (Enoki)

The lily mushroom is very rarely seen in your typical supermarket, but they are a delicious alternative to your common fungus. Also known as Enoki, the small, thin and white mushroom grows very closely together. It is likely that a small handful of them has a highly-concentrated number of individual mushrooms. The freshest should be firm to the touch, without any discolouring. Although don't be put off if you see the wild version, which are much rarer to get, as they are typically slightly darker.

Morning Glory

Morning glory belongs to the spinach family, and its texture and flavour is very like the spinach usually grown and eaten in the UK. The tender, young shoots and leaves are extensively used in Asian countries. The thin stems and arrow shaped plant can be wilted in meals or eaten raw.

Pak Choi

The chunky stalks and green leaves give the appearance of a robust vegetable. The taste is somewhere between a peppery version of spinach or cabbage. The leaves are great eaten raw, added to salads, or lightly cooked in Asian dishes. They make a fantastic alternative to your usual greens.

Fresh mustard greens

Fresh mustard greens have a sharp, spicy flavour that may remind you of the taste of wasabi. The leaves can be a bold green or yellow. At times, they can be slightly bitter when raw but a quick, few second dip in boiling water will remove this, although if you like the bitterness, it can be added straight to salads.

Lotus root

The lotus root is an unusual looking vegetable, although don't let the appearance put you off. It has a crisp texture, like that of an unripe pear. It can have a slightly nutty flavour, although when cooked it will take on the other spices of the dish. It isn't an overpowering tasting vegetable and can be thinly sliced and eaten raw. The texture varies depending on how you cook it.

White Radish (Mooli)

The white radish is a root vegetable, which can also be referred to as Daikon and is used in many Asian meals worldwide. The radish is white to pale green in colour and is much larger than the more common radish. The flavour is less dominating in comparison to the smaller, red radishes. It can be used the same way westerns cook with a parsnip or carrot; you can stew, boil, roast or add it to salad.


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