Friday, February 23, 2007

Stir fry scallops and asparagus with ginkgo

Stir fry scallops and asparagus with ginkgo-代代平安 (serves 3-4)
-8 giant scallops quartered
-10-12 stalks of asparagus, cleaned and cut into finger lengths
-1cup button mushrooms and 1cup straw mushrooms
-3-4oz fresh ginkgo nuts
-1 small piece ginger, sliced thinly (Note: I wanted to taste the full natural burst of flavors from scallops, asparagus, and ginkgo, so I kept the "seasoning" part simple by only adding slices of ginger to zest up the whole dish)
-some chicken broth or water

1.Heat some oil in the frying pan
2.Add the ginger and fry till aromatic
3.Add in scallops, and fry till scallop changes color (meaning it's cooked). Dish out and set aside
4.Add in asparagus, mushroom, and gingko nuts and fry for about 1-2mins. Add in broth or water
5.When simmering, add back the scallops and stir fry quicky for another 1min to mix well
6. Serve

With the asparagus 芦笋, can also name 事事顺心 (笋 and 顺 pronounced "shun" altogether)

With these ginkgo nuts that are yellow/golden, can be 金玉满堂(Gold Everywhere) too!

The special ingredient I've used here is ginkgo nuts. Ginkgo nuts are commonly used in many luxurious/fine-dining Chinese vegetarian restaurants because these nuts are considered expensive ingredients (due to labor intensiveness to crack the hard shell of each nut, removing the thin skin, and removing the young shoot that is usually bitter). So, usually what you eat is just the sweet flesh of ginkgo nuts. By using ginkgo, any simple vegetarian dish remains vegetarian and can be charged at a premium. Can you recall in the last gingko dessert you have eaten, how many gingko nuts did you have in that bowl, in proportion to the white fungus and beancurd skins ?