QUICK AND EASY BRAISED TURNIP RICE BOWLS
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about pumpkins, acorn squash, and butternut squash, but what about turnips? Well. Additionally, Chinese turnips, which are also in season, should be consumed in abundance.
Turnips are cruciferous vegetables, not just another root vegetable like parsnips or beets. Yes, it’s nutritious and should not be limited to the role of a calorie-laden filler. According to an old Chinese proverb, eating turnips today (while they’re in season) is more healthy than taking ginseng.
Given that turnips are in a favorable position, I thought I’d devote this post to educating people about this underappreciated root crop. As a chef, I think it deserves much more attention and uses in the kitchens. These Braised Turnip Rice Bowls are the ideal recipe for bringing your family all the health benefits of the simple turnip.
What precisely does that entail? Fiber-rich turnips are low in calories. Aside from cancer-fighting free radicals, turnip consumption has been shown to improve immunity, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and support good digestion.
Picking the Right Turnip
I’m sure you’re anxious to try this easy braised turnip recipe now that you know how healthy it is. Here are some pointers to ensure you’re purchasing a high-quality turnip.
Let me clarify that what I mean by “Chinese white turnips” is the white variety found in Chinese grocery stores, not the purple variety. However, if that’s all you have, you can use it!
Turnips should also have lustrous skin that is not dull and smooth skin that is uniformly pigmented, with no black patches. Lastly, take a turnip out of your pocket and measure its weight in your palm. Because it’s so small, it shouldn’t seem light. You can tell if it’s dried out or too light.
“Meaty,” “comforting,” “wholesome,” and “the greatest” were some of the comments Sarah used to describe this braised turnip bowl after the picture shoot wrapped up. If you’re doubtful, Sarah is my pickiest daughter when it comes to eating vegetables.
I hope this one-pot dinner will become a regular part of your family’s mealtime routine in the coming months. Also, now that Chinese turnips are in season don’t forget to spread the word about their health advantages!
- 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil
- 3 pcs. of star anise
- 2 tsp. of Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp. of ginger (minced)
- 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 4 pcs. of scallions (chopped and separated by white and green parts)
- 8 oz. of ground pork (but any ground meat will work)
- 1½ lb. of white Chinese turnip or daikon radish (peeled and cut into ½” x 1″ pieces)
- 8 fresh Shiitake mushrooms (diced)
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- ½ tsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. of dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. of oyster sauce
- ½ tsp. of sugar
- 2 cups of water (470 ml)
- 1½ tbsp. of cornstarch (mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
- Steamed jasmine rice (to serve)
- Low heat is ideal for heating the oil in your wok. Stir in the star anise and Sichuan peppercorns to taste. Keep an eye on them for ten minutes as they infuse the oil.
- Retain the oil in the wok and remove and discard the aromatics. Toss in the white pieces of the scallion and medium-high-heated ginger, garlic, and scallions. Take a few minutes to stir. Stir-fry the ground beef until well-browned. The turnips and shiitake mushrooms can now be added. Mix and mash everything together thoroughly.
- 2 cups of water, salt, Shaoxing wine, dark and light soy sauces, oyster sauce, sugar, and all other ingredients should be added. Turnips are ready when soft and translucent, so cook them for 15 minutes over medium heat with a lid on to ensure they don’t burn. Prepare the cornstarch mixture and leave it aside while the contents of the woks simmer.
- The cornstarch mixture should be added after the turnips have finished cooking. The sauce should thicken after a minute of stirring. Serve over rice, garnished with the green parts of the scallions.