Thursday, March 19, 2015

Jean's Asian Cooking Classes, Melbourne

Stir- fried Choko with Prawns

Choko (chocho) or Chayote, when did I start to love this funny looking shape vegetable/fruit (I did ask myself when I first saw it many years ago)? It is to native of Central America. But it has become one type of popular vegetables in Vietnam and Cambodia. It provides a good natural sauce of fibre and vitamin C, especially where there is a lack of supplements.

Back to Melbourne, I need to wait for the season to cook. Yes, yes, there are a lot in the market now. Thus, ya! Time to cook choko! I love to use it for simple stir-fry, like normally used in Vietnamese and Cambodian cooking. I love its natural flavour that surprisingly matches well with other ingredients. Here a simple recipe called “stir-fried Choko with prawns”.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
120 g prawns, peeled and de-veined (if use large prawns, diced)
1 choko (400 g or 14 oz), peeled, deseeded, cut into strips

Soy mixture (mix in a bowl):

½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Dash ground white pepper

     Heat the oil in a fry-pan, add the garlic and prawns stir-fry for 1 minute or until the prawns are nearly cooked.

     Add the choko and the soy mixture and stir well. Cover the fry-pan with a lid and cook for a minute. Add two tablespoons of water and have a quick stir, cover it again and keep cooking over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the choko is softened (if you like it crunchy and tender you can cook for just a minute instead). Serve hot with rice.

Prep & cooking time: <15 minutes

Serve: 2-4

I grew a couple of choko plants a few years ago in my back yard and it was very easy. You may think about doing it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chinese Cooking Class, Melbourne

Stir-fried Snow Pea Leaves (snow pea shoots) with Garlic

Snow peas, everyone knows snow peas. It is commonly used in either western or Asian cooking. How about snow pea leaves or some may call it snow pea shoots? If you have ever seen them in the market or you already have them in your backyard, what the next thing to do is turn them into a simply delicious stir-fry dish. I cannot describe much in here how tasty they are. I only can tell you that my toddle loves it very much. Basically, they taste naturally sweet. Try this simple and healthy way to cook snow peas leaves.

Stir-Fried Snow Pea Leaves (snow pea shoots) with Garlic

300 g (10 ½ oz) snow pea leaves
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Discard the coils of the leaves and rinse the leaves thoroughly.
Heat oil in a fry-pan or wok and fry the garlic over high heat for 20 seconds or until lightly brown. Add the snow pea leaves, salt and soy sauce and stir fry to coat well in oil for about 2½ minutes. (If they are still tough, cover with lid and cook for another 1 minute).  

Preparation time:  >5 minutes                                   

Cooking time: 5 minutes