Chinese Produce You’ve Never Eaten

Published in Gourmet Live 01.18.12
Josey Miller uncovers seven Asian fruits and vegetables to try

During a recent trip to Hong Kong, I snapped photo after photo of striking fruits and vegetables, some of which looked vaguely familiar and some of which I’d never seen before. Back at home in New York, I wanted to identify them and learn how to use them in my own kitchen, so I enlisted the help of Chris Cheung, executive chef of Lair, a Chinese fusion restaurant not far from New York’s Chinatown. He shared his kitchen expertise for the following seven food finds—all of which are worth trying…with one possible exception.

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Chinese Okra

Though this veggie is known as Chinese okra, it’s actually in the squash family. “It doesn’t have the sliminess of okra,” he explains. “It’s somewhere between an eggplant and a cucumber.” It’s easy in a stir-fry much like eggplant, but breaks down faster due to its high water content. Peel it and chop up the soft inside, then cook it on high heat. Cheung loves to serve it with Braised Short Ribs.


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