Thursday, May 03, 2007
Amaranth is another vegetable that I noticed for the first time at my local market without being able to identify it. Thanks to the posts at Mahanandi I did not remain in the dark for long - check out the fantastic JFI roundup there. In Mandarin it is called hong xian cai but my market vendors, most of whom speak Sichuan dialect, all seem to call it hong han cai.
I found amaranth a bit difficult to cook - it tastes and behaves a lot like spinach, wilting quickly and losing a lot of volume. It also bleeds and stains everything red. I made an amaranth omelet that tasted wonderful but looked really odd. My favourite way to cook it so far is a simple and restorative vegetable soup that does not mind being pink.
Mince half a small onion and one clove of garlic, and half a red pepper and sweat with salt in a small sauce pan until vegetables are tender but not browned. (Can use other vegetables based on what you have on hand.) Add one and a half cups of chicken or vegetable broth and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in one and a half cups chopped amaranth and heat til vegetable is wilted; then stir in three tablespoons of cream. You can omit the cream if desired for an even more basic soup. This should fill up one person or serve two as first or last course.
Posted by Pepper at 5:24 PM