Wild yam with prawns
It is a common dilemma.
You like cooking, want to add to your repertoire of dishes to impress, but you also want a recipe that is interesting and simple.
The solution? Huai shan (Chinese wild yam) stir-fried with prawns.
It is one of my favourite dishes to have at home. The recipe comes from my mother. She got the idea for the dish from an acquaintance some years ago.
Huai shan is more commonly known as a herb in its dried form. You can find it used in a variety of tonic soups.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that huai shan is beneficial to the kidneys, spleen and digestive system.
It is also said to lower blood sugar.
Vegetable-sellers at the market may be more familiar with the term "shan yao" than huai shan. My mother prefers those imported from Japan.
The texture is crunchy and quite similar to swede (which looks like a purplish turnip but is part of the cabbage family), except huai shan has a lot of sap which can put off those not familiar with it.
I prefer the addition of some wolfberries because it lends sweetness to the dish.
It is hard to go wrong with this. This recipe is fresh and not heavy on the palette. It is just unusual enough to tantalise guests, but familiar enough to get them asking for more.
- 10-12 prawns
- 700g huai shan
- 30g wolfberries
- 3 stalks of spring onion, cut into length of 5cm
- 1 bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp light sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 30ml water
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
1. Rinse the wolfberries and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Peel the skin off the huai shan and slice thickly.
3. Heat the oil and fry the garlic until fragrant.
4. Add the huai shan and red bell pepper.
5. Fry for two minutes, add the prawns.
6. Season with oyster sauce and light soya sauce.
7. Add the water.
8. Add the wolfberries and spring onion.
9. Add the sesame oil and serve.