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Asian Vegetable: A Guide to Growing and Cooking Diverse and Nutritious Plants

There are many kinds of plants that people eat in different parts of Asia. They have leaves, roots, stems, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Some of them grow only in Asia, but some of them came from other places. People like these plants because they are good for health, taste good, and can be cooked in many ways. Here are some examples of these plants and how people use them in Asian food:

  • Bamboo shoots are the young parts of bamboo plants that grow in hot and wet places in Asia. They are hard and have a light, sweet taste. People usually cook them, can them, or make them sour before they put them in soups, salads, and other dishes.
  • Bitter melon is a fruit that looks like a bumpy cucumber and tastes bitter. Many people in India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia eat it because they think it can make them healthy. Bitter melon can be eaten fresh, cooked, or made into pickle, and people often fill it, fry it, or cook it with meat, eggs, or spices.
  • Bok choy is a kind of cabbage that has green leaves and white stems. It is very popular in Asian food, especially in China, Korea, and Japan. Bok choy is crunchy and soft and has a light, spicy taste. People can eat it fresh in salads, or cook it in soups, dumplings, and noodles.
  • Daikon radish is a big, white, root that came from China and is now eaten a lot in Japan, Korea, and other places in Asia. It is hard and has a strong, hot taste that becomes softer when cooked. People can eat it fresh, cut it, grate it, or make it into pickle, or cook it in soups, curries, and fried food.

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  • Edamame are green beans that are picked before they get old. They are a common snack and starter in Japan, where people boil them or steam them and put salt on them. Edamame have a lot of protein, fiber, and good things for the body, and people can also put them in salads, soups, and rice.
  • Enoki mushrooms are thin, white mushrooms that grow together. They come from Japan, China, and Korea, where people grow them on wood or in bottles. They are soft and have a light, nutty taste. People can eat them fresh in salads, or cook them in soups, hot pots, and noodles.
  • Galangal is a root that is related to ginger. It is used a lot in Southeast Asian food, especially in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It looks like ginger, but it has a stronger, sour, and hot taste. People usually cut it, crush it, or grate it, and use it to make soups, curries, salads, and sauces taste better.
  • Gai lan or Chinese broccoli is a plant that has thick, flat leaves and fat stems. It is very common in Chinese food, where people usually steam it, fry it, or cook it with garlic, oyster sauce, or soy sauce. Gai lan has a bitter and nutty taste and is crunchy and soft.
  • Kabocha is a kind of squash that comes from Japan and has a green skin and an orange inside. It is sweet, nutty, and creamy and is smooth and thick. People can roast it, bake it, steam it, or mash it, and use it to make soups, pies, cakes, and fried food.
  • Lemongrass is a plant that has long, thin, green stems and smells and tastes like lemon. It is used a lot in Southeast Asian food, especially in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. People usually hit it, cut it, or smash it, and use it to make soups, curries, salads, and stir-fries taste better. People can also make tea or oil from lemongrass.

These are some of the many plants that people eat in Asia that can make your food more interesting, healthy, and tasty. You can find them in Asian shops, special stores, or online, and try different recipes and foods.

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