Wild Rice Stem with Soy Sauce油焖茭白yóu mèn jiāo bái

cover1 (2).JPGWild Rice Stem, or Water Bamboo, is a unique and extraordinary Chinese vegetable. It has the fresh delicacy of bamboo shoots but a softer texture. The plant is widely cultivated in the wetland in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and believed to grow in Vietnam as well. Wid Rice Stem is particularly delicious cooked in this Shanghainese way, with soy sauce and hints of sugar sweetness and sesame oil.

Serves 3-4

  • 400g                          fresh wild rice stem新鲜茭白
  • 2 tablespoons          cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon           Chinese cooking wine料酒
  • 1 tablespoon            light soy sauce生抽
  • 1 tablespoon           dark soy sauce老抽
  • 1 tablespoon            caster sugar白砂糖
  • 1/3 cup (75Ml)          water or stock水或者高汤
  • ½ teaspoon               sesame oil香油
  • ¼ teaspoon or to taste      Salt


  1. Strip off any remaining layers of husk from the wild rice stem, so that you are left with the crisp, pale and ivory-colored stems (the peeled weight will be about 300g). Start from the tips, roll-cut the stems evenly into bite-sized pieces: holding your knife at an angle, cut off a chunk, the rotate the stem a half-turn towards you and, holding your knife at the same angle, cut off another chunk. Repeat the turning and cutting for the rest of the stem.


  1. Heat the oil in s seasoned wok over a high flame. Add the chopped stems and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tinged with gold. Add the cooking wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, water and season with a bit salt and mix well. Bring to the boil, then simmer over medium heat for 3-4 minutes to allow the vegetable to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Turn up the heat and reduce the sauce until syrupy, stirring constantly to avoid the bottom of the wok sticking. Turn off the heat, stir in sesame oil and serve.

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