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Old 02-10-2006, 09:00 AM   #1
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Exotic vegetables...

DO YOU/have you cooked in exotic veggies lately? or have you tried any?
any one ever tried japanese eggplant? or chayote? I have not,but I seen them in this book and I was just wondering about exotic foods such as veggies for now.

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Old 02-10-2006, 09:22 AM   #2
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I started getting back into stir-fry again the past couple of weeks, now that I'm off from work for the month. About the only really exotic things I used were Napa, fresh shiitakes, and some canned bamboo shoots. Money's kind of tight right now, so I can't go out and buy large quantities of exotic stuff to play with at the moment, but, hopefully, that will soon change, once my tax refund rolls in.

I have several Cajun recipes that call for Chayotes/Mirlitons, but I've never made them.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:59 AM   #3
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i'm not sure how exotic they are since i grow them in joisey, but bok choy and japanese white eggplant (my korean neighbors have correctd me and says they are korean whites, aka kaji) are some of my faves.
to me, a stir fry isn't a stir fry without bok choy. and korean white eggplants are delicious sliced into pucks, evoo'd and grilled. if harvested correctly, they are almost all flesh with no bitter seeds.

i'm also waiting for the patent to run out so i can start growing broccolini, a hybrid of broccoli rabe and asparagus.

i'd also like to try cooking fiddleheads, if i can ever find them.
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Old 02-10-2006, 01:51 PM   #4
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how is japanese eggplant different from that of regular fat eggplants?
just wondering...
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Old 02-10-2006, 01:57 PM   #5
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i think you mean regular black italian eggplants, kimbaby?

the korean/japanese whites that i grow are different in color of course, but also they are smaller, and sort of shaped like a slightly rounded tear drop, just larger than a baseball. they have very firm white flesh with very few seeds, and are more mildly flavored.
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Old 02-10-2006, 02:35 PM   #6
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hmmm I bet they are better,can you buy these at regular supermarkets or a special exotic veggie place?
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Old 02-10-2006, 02:38 PM   #7
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i've seen them in my regular market, but only seasonally, usually late summer.
i think they're available more often in asian markets.
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Old 02-10-2006, 03:17 PM   #8
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We find the Japanese/Korean eggplant in our supermarkets from time to time during the year.

Try them.
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Old 02-10-2006, 04:34 PM   #9
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It's hard to think what 'exotic vegetables' are - it depends on where you live, I suppose. But to me, never having tried things like okra or jicama or kudzu or collards or salsify, these would have to qualify as exotic.

Your 'chayote' is our very common 'choko', either loved or despised! Many people grow their own vines here. I'm very fond of it, just boiled, then served with butter and pepper (I don't use salt). It's an excellent substitute for apples or pears in pies (or used to pad out a shortage of either), and it's very commonly used in pickles recipes in my part of the world. It's a fairly bland vegetable on its own, not unlike squash (not pumpkin) - so it readily takes on whatever flavours you add to it.

Here, we get a lot of Asian vegetables, now as common as the carrot or potato - bok choy, Chinese broccoli, kangkong (which I grow), choy sum, mizuna, daikon radish, tatsoi etc. I like them all. They are very, very easy to grow - and quick, too!

One vegetable you never hear about it the Manglewurzel. A variety of beetroot. I just love the name!

As long as it's not pumpkin or turnips, I'd probably like any vegetable, although slimy okra would have me a little nervous!
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:54 AM   #10
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Neat question Kimbaby....Hmmmmm, now I'm reaching far back in my memory because I know that I haven't tried anything exotic lately. But in the past I've tried things like dandelion greens (good with garlic and pasta), celery root/celeriac (nice mixed into mashed potatoes), daikon (a really yummy, mildish sort of white radish), salsify (nice, a tad bland but good), Jerusalem artichokes (yummy, you can use them in place of potatoes in a host of different dishes or throw some into a mixed root vegetable bake), jicama (reminds me of a water chestnut in terms of flavour), ramps (wild leeks), kohlrabi (so cool looking, sort of tastes like a cross between parsnips and turnips), purslane (it's got a bad rep as a garden weed but is surprisingly tasty, sort of like a peppery salad leaf), a few types of seaweed and numerous different kinds of sprouts.

The next one to try on my list is Romanesco, it looks like a wild outer-space version of broccoli with pointy spikes.



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