Destination Flavour China: Episode 2 

Bamboo Shoots and Cured Ham

Adam Liaw cooks up a simple, easy dish that is quintessentially Anhui cuisine,  the provincial city of Heifei in China.

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I want to make a dish that's really an example of the simplicity of Anhui cuisine. A simple stir-fry, of bamboo shoots and cured ham. Starting with my aromatics, I need to chop my green garlic shoots and thinly slice my ginger. The red chili I'm using is actually more for visual effect than anything else. That's really important in Chinese cooking for it to look good. To prepare the bamboo shoot, all I need to do is peel away these outer layers and then slice it into pieces. Now for the cure ham. This is absolutely beautiful stuff. A bit like pancetta or prosciutto.

 Now with all the preparation done, it's time to light my fire. Here we go. The important part of getting the ham and the aromatics into the wok first, is it really flavors all of that oil that's going to carry the flavor around those bamboo shirts. Got to work fast when you're working with a wok. I don't want these aromatics to burn. So I'll take those out now trying to leave as much oil in there as I can. Bamboo shoots going in. Fresh bamboo shoots, have a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor. A little like baby corn. Put the ham and aromatics back in. Then for a bit of color, my greens and a bit of chili as well. You really don't need a lot of heavy seasonings with Chinese food. All I'm going to add to this a bit of chicken stock, wine, and just a touch of sugar to offset the saltiness of that ham. That looks pretty much done. And that's my simple stir-fry of bamboo shoots and cured ham.

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