Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stir-fry Wild Rice Stems 雲腿茭白絲

Wildrice stems are aquatic plants which take on the good qualities of bamboo shoots and drop the bad. They have that very distinctive fresh taste of spring and a tender, pickled turnip-like crunch, combination of which makes them too much of a delicacy to be dismissed from your menu! What's more, they do not leave your lips numb as bamboo shoots usually do! Yay!

Another little fun fact about wildrice stems lies in their shape and colour. Taking off the coats of green reveals a sleek, smooth and fair inside. Look at the pictures below. They are said to resemble a Chinese woman's perfect lotus feet, concealed within tiny shoes and bindings. As such, wildrice stems also take on the name 腳白筍 "fair bamboo feet"

Bound feet? Meh. I see little aesthetic value in them. But looking at these exposed pure stems, I do see a pair of hot, sexy legs! Seriously, who can resist that? ;p

Stir-fry Wild Rice Stems
(servings: 2)

- 3 wild rice stems (available in markets and Shanghainese stores),
- 3 thin slices of Yunnan ham 
雲南火腿 (optional)*,

- pinch of salt,
- bigger pinch of sugar,

- 1 teaspoon of chicken powder (optional)*
- a splash of light soy sauce,
- a splash of Shaoxing wine 

1. Cut the Yunnan ham into fine shreds and fry them in the wok without using any oil. Fry until they turn crispy. Set aside.
2. Tear off the green coat from the wild rice stems. Wash and cut them into fine shreds.
3. Add oil to the wok and fry the wild rice stems over medium heat. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the wild rice stems appear soft. At this point, add in the salt, sugar, chicken powder and soy sauce. Stir a bit then give it a splash of Shaoxing wine. Briefly stir the ingredients then turn off the heat. 
4. Sprinkle the crispy fried ham on top and serve.

*For vegetarians, you may tick off the ingredients marked optional, the dish will still taste great! ;)


  1. I love 茭白, esp. when stir-fried, either with meat or just tofu!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Angie!
    I love 茭白 too! Yes, they taste great with meat. But I never thought of cooking them with tofu! This is interesting! Please tell me how you usually do that!
    I can picture them fried with dried, pressed tofu strips 豆乾絲 though.