It’s my first time cooking nagaimo. I had it before in many Chinese restaurants, but never prepared it myself. This root vegetable is often used in Chinese and Japanese cooking. I like the crunchiness of nagaimo. My first try was a success!
(1) Nagaimo (山藥)
According to Aomori Nagaimo website, “Nagaimo is a nutrient-rich tuber, which can be cooked like a potato and is loaded with health benefits. Its texture is crunchy and somewhat sticky. And raw food aficionados will appreciate that nagaimo is just as good fresh out of the ground or fresh out of the oven. Add to those traits the fact that it’s low calorie, high protein, and full of potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B1, polyphenol, peroxidases, and more. It’s no wonder nagaimo is so popular in Japan, where it is harvested in both spring and fall. The Japanese have enjoyed it as both a treat and a health food since ancient times.”
Peel the skin off nagaimo. Nagaimo will be slimy. Some people will feel their hands become itchy after touching nagaimo. If that’s the case, rub your hands with vinegar and you should be fine.
(2) Vegetarian Beancurd (腐腸)
I bought this vegetarian beancurd in the freezer section. The literal translation is “beancurd intestine”, since the beancurd comes in rolls shaping like intestines I guess. For non-Asian people, this probably doesn’t sound to appetizing. But for us Asians, intestine is a very popular food item.
Ok. Time to cook!
Stir-Fried Nagaimo with Beancurd (山藥炒腐腸)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package (10.5 oz) frozen vegetarian beancurd, cut into 1″ pieces
1 cup sliced nagaimo (cut it in half lengthwise first)
1 small carrot, sliced into thin pieces
1/4 cup dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (reserved the mushroom water)
3 tablespoon mushroom oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
In a wok, heat up oil with medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add frozen beancurd. Cook until it is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Place beancurd on a plate.
Add more oil if needed. Add nagaimo, carrot, and mushroom to wok. Cook until vegetable soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the beancurd back to the wok.
Add mushroom oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and 1/4 cup mushroom water (from soaking the mushroom). Stir fried until the sauce reduce and everything is cooked, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle on some green onion.
Serve with brown rice. Enjoy!
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