We know that steaming is probably the best way of cooking; it's clean, retains the nutrition and color of the veggies, and it's super fast. The only disadvantage might be that the flavor is bland compared to other cooking methods unless you marinate your veggies first. But that takes some time and foresight. Then I thought of a way to compromise by making my own sauce to pour over the steamed veggies.
Yields 2 servings
Half head of cauliflower, cut to bite-size
Half head of broccoli, cut to bite-size
1 carrot, sliced
Half a block of black bean "dry" tofu (黑豆豆腐干), sliced
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp anise powder
1/8 tsp star anise powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp corn starch
200 mL water
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1. Bring water to a boil; put veggies in steaming baskets above the water and steam, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes. I prefer crisp broccoli so I normally shorten the time. If you prefer it to be softer, extend the time to 7 or 8 minutes.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together except the sesame oil. Pour sesame oil into a sauce pan and heat over medium fire, stirring continuously with a small whisk until it becomes half-transparent and thick. Stir the sesame oil into the other sauce ingredients.
When serving, I prefer to place the tofu on the dish first as a base, add rice as the second layer, add one carrot, then drizzle the sauce over the top, and eat the whole piece. Or use rice as the base, add cauliflower, then sauce. Haha, don't you feel like a haute cuisine chef?
Sichuanese native and Chengdu resident Annie blogs about her adventures in cooking vegetarian meals, adapting recipes from around the world. Recently she has translated some of her favorite posts into English for GoChengdoo readers to enjoy. The original, Chinese-language version of this post can be viewed here. Photo by Annie Chen.