My container gai lan (Chinese broccoli) survived the frigid (+/-15°F) night time temperature we had days ago. I got a harvest, about ½ pound, which will be the last.
Gai lan growing in window box
These gai lan I planted in window boxes did better than the ones I planted in the garden even though they were attacked by insects (see above photo).
I harvested the main shoots some weeks ago and was really surprised, and needless to say pleased, to see these side shoots. They were quite fat and tender.
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Brought home some beautiful sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke) from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden (LGHVG) few weeks ago. They are placed, unwashed, in a storage container, covered with damp pro-mix (sand will work also) and stored in the shed for use throughout the winter. Must move the container into my unheated garage at a later date before the shed door gets blocked by snow.
Experimented with window boxes to store the root veggies last winter and the results were excellent, decide to try larger storage containers this time.
Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke)
NOTE: Sunchoke has a high content of inulin that some people are unable to digest thus causing intestinal distress (extreme gas pain). The first time you are introduced to sunchoke, eat a small portion to see how your system handles it. For more about sunchoke, click here.
Right photo: Sunchoke flowers
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Had some shrimp in the freezer so decided to make a shrimp, gai lan and sunchoke stir-fry (substitute other veggies for the gai lan).
Shrimp, Gai Lan & Sunchoke Stir-fry
• 1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined, washed and pat dry
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper or to taste
• ½ teaspoon maple syrup or light brown sugar
• 2 – 3 slices fresh ginger
Combine all the above. Set aside while you gather and prepare the other ingredients
• ½ – ¾ pound gai lan cut into bite-sized lengths (using both leaves and stalk, including flowers)
• ¼ – ½ pound sunchoke, peeled and thinly sliced
• few strips of red onion
• 1 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• ½ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
• ½ – ¾ cup chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water
• 2 – 3 tablespoons oil
1. Add 1 tablespoon oil to preheated wok or frying, add salt and veggies, stir-fry until gai lan turns a bright green color, adding broth 1 tablespoon at a time if wok or frying pan is dry (to prevent burning). Remove to a clean platter and set aside.
2. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons oil to wok or frying pan, add garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds, add shrimp, stir-fry until shrimp changes color
3. Add veggies, continue stir-frying until shrimp is cooked and veggies are to desired doneness. Remove and discard ginger slices, if desired.
4. Add broth, bring to a boil. Thicken with cornstarch mixture. Adjust taste and serve with rice or pasta.
VARIATION 1: Stir in 1 tablespoon oyster sauce during step 4.
VARIATION 2: Substitute 6 – 8 ounces of tofu for the shrimp.
Oops, the sunchoke slices are barely peeking out in the above photographed dish (they got buried). Could not retake the photo as the dish was eaten when I noticed the issue, so sorry.
Click here for a vegetable medley that includes chicory (radicchio) and sunchoke.
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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.
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Great harvest Norma! I’m intrigued by the Chinese broccoli, is the flavour the same as traditional broccoli? I I’ve the colours in your stir fry, just beautiful! I can see the JA just fine.
Chinese broccoli has a finer texture, especially the stems, than regular broccoli, next time you visit TNT look for them, the flowers are white and is edible, the leaves also are edible. You may need to peel the root end of the stem if it appears a bit “woody”.
Norma, this sounds like a delicious stir fry. Your window box experiment certainly has paid off.
Yes, my window box experiments have paid off but it is not a practical way to garden especially if one travels during gardening season. Now that I know what will work and what will not do as well I will, in the future, use window boxes as season extenders in the spring and fall.
A very delicious stir-fry!
That looks delicious. And I’m so hungry right now.
Thanks. I am sure you have lots of goodies in your fridge and freezer you can put together in no time for a quick lunch.
Nice winter harvest!
I really should try sunchokes, as I’m now allergic to potatoes.
Hello Lisa and Robb,
Sunchokes are delicious if your system can handle them. Start out by tasting to see if it will agree with you.
Sounds like a great stir-fry!
It was the sunchoke had great flavor.
Ha! I can relate Norma; nothing more annoying than discovering one of the star ingredients is buried under the other ingredients in a photo. I usually have a starving family waiting for their dinner whilst photographing so rarely get a second chance either. Your stir-fry still looks gorgeous! Interesting learning about sunchoke, both the inulin content and how to store them through Winter.
Glad to hear I am not the only one with photo issues. Does sunchoke grow where you are?
I am glad you mentioned that people should taste the sunchokes. I can’t handle inulin from any source. I love the taste of sunchokes though! And they add a nice crunch to recipes.
Does that mean you cannot eat chicory?
Your stir fry looks delicious Norma. I can almost taste it from here! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a picture of sunchoke before and I’m amazed how much it looks like ginger. That’s what I thought it was before I got to that paragraph. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you have a great week!
Thanks. Yes, sunchoke does resemble ginger.
Love this stir-fry recipe Norma! Delicious!
Thanks, it was delicious.
That would have been a delicious stir-fry, Norma, and I love the look of your Jerusalem artichokes. It’s amazing how you’re still harvesting during such freezing conditions xx
Actually sunchoke overwinters well in the ground and can be harvested throughout the winter if the ground is not frozen.
I love stir-fries like this, flavoured simply with chicken stock. How fabulous that you’re still getting leafy greens this late in the season, Norma! x
Leafy greens from the garden is getting scarcer and scarcer pretty soon the grounds will be snow covered.
I’m ashamed to say I’ve never had a sun choke. I’ll have to rectify that soon!
You are not alone. Lots and lots of people have never heard of sunchoke nor tasted it.
That sounds awesome – I have been craving shrimp and Gai Lan is one of my favorite greens! i need to make this. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!
You are fortunate as you can get good quality gai lan where you are, I am thinking given your climate, may be even year round.
wow, i love artichoke root on my salad or steamed dimsum filling,
loving its crisp and sweet flavour, beside it’s less calories than any starchy root……
lucky you Norma!
I never thought of using sunchoke as a dimsum filling, that’s a great idea, thanks.
What a lovely recipe, I can only imagine the flavor would be outstanding with everything fresh from your garden. I have never tasted a sunchoke and wasn’t even sure what they were. Your other post explained more for me. I would love to taste on now, but would be so careful, no one wants a tummy ache. I wonder if your body can get used to them over time?
I don’t know. One of my garden friend can eat it once a week but no more, I can eat it everyday and no problem. It is extremely easy to grow yet difficult to find in the food market and also is pricey, go figure.
Your posts always fascinate me, Norma. I knew nothing about sunchokes causing stomach distress and storing them over the winter in your garage is a great idea. On to of everything else, you present us with a beautiful stir-fry. It looks so fresh and appetizing. This was another great post. 🙂
Thanks. Stir-fry is a quick and easy (also lazy) way to get food onto the table quickly and to use up whatever is available/convenient in the fridge/freezer. Do you cook with sunchokes?
Never have, Norma, that’s one of the reasons I found this post fascinating. You’re always teaching me something.Thank you for that. 🙂
We learn from each other. I learn a great deal about Italian cooking and culture through your posts.
A good harvest, dear Norma! I love Sunchokes a lot too! Yummm! Your recipe is also a winner! Yummm!
Thanks. Are sunchokes easy to find where you are? How do you use them?
Glad to know gai lan can take some low temp, never eaten sunchoke, how’s the texture and taste ?
Uncooked, sunchoke is crispy with a hint of sweetness, reminds me of fresh waterchestnut. Lightly cooked, it retains it crispness and can be used as waterchestnut substitute. Cooked till soft, it taste a bit like artichoke.
I love gai lan and with oyster sauce. . . oh yes I’m in heaven. Well, figuratively. 🙂 I hope you are having a great mid-week Norma. 🙂
Gai lan is one of my favorite veggies. You probably are able to get good quality ones year round where you are.
Gai lan – I’ve never heard of it before and I thought we had every Asian green around down here. It’s probably here and I didn’t notice it. I’m off to the market!
It probably goes by a different name in Australia. Also known as Chinese broccoli.
What a great harvest! I live in an apartment but I would love to start my little garden in my balcony. Is gai lan hard to grow in those window pots? Thanks
These are the crops I have success growing in window boxes: gai lan, baby bok choy, shanghai bok choy, spinach, leaf lettuce, scallion and Chinese chives.
These crops will grow well in larger containers (18-inch diameter and only one plant to a container): Ping tung Chinese eggplant, peppers and sweet potatoes.
The secret to success is proper spacing, frequent watering and fertilizing.
Write again if you need more help.
Thanks a lot Norma. I’ll definitely experiment when the spring comes 🙂
Don’t hesitate to write if you need any info.
We love the gai lan green vegetable in garlic sauce.
Gai lan is a favorite for many people.
I love stir fry! I made your asparagus and shrimp dish, which was delicious, so I know this is too!!
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed my asparagus and shrimp recipe.