Braised Winter Vegetables

Although the original recipe calls for potatoes, carrots, and Chinese cabbage, a variety of vegetables would work well in this dish. The finished dish has a sort of sweet and sour flavor – you can play with the amount of sugar and the amount and type of vinegar to get the flavor you like best. Black vinegar will affect the color but has a stronger, almost smoky flavor. Rice vinegar will make it milder and will not change the color of the dish. Use a waxy variety of potato rather than a starchy baking potato – we like Yukon Golds for this.

ingredients:

  • 1 T light soy sauce
  • 1 T vinegar, either rice wine or black
  • 1 T raw cane sugar, or to taste
  • 1 c water, stock or broth
  • 1/4 lb carrots, peeled and cut into approximately 1/2 x 1/2 x 2″ lengths
  • 1/4 lb stem ends of bok choy or the core of a napa cabbage, cut into 1/2 x 2″ lengths
  • 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 1/2 x 1/2 x 2″ lengths
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 slice fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil, or to taste

method:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, blanch the carrots; then blanch and shock the cabbage separately and set them aside.
  2. While the water boils for the carrots and cabbage, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the wok over medium high, add 1 T oil just until it shimmers.
  4. Add the potatoes and stirfry just until lightly browned in places, then remove from the wok and set them aside.
  5. Add 1 T oil to the wok and again heat just until it shimmers – it’s fine if there are bits of potato stuck to the wok.
  6. Explode the scallion, garlic and ginger just until fragrant.
  7. Add the vinegar mixture, bring to a boil, then add the vegetables to the wok. When the liquid returns to a simmer, keep the heat low and braise just until the vegetables are the doneness you prefer.
  8. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, vinegar, and sugar, then drizzle with sesame oil before serving.
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