“Asian Garden”

This garden will be planted with an array of vegetables often used in Asian dishes, including ginger, green beans, Asian eggplant, scallions, garlic, shallots, cilantro, lemon grass, and a variety of leafy greens, basils and mints. From this harvest, there will be much to taste and even more to cook with; soups, stir fry, rice based foods and noodles. The students will learn the names of the vegetables in Chinese, Vietnamese and English, gather recipes and garden stories from family members, and read folk tales about some of the plants. We will make art based on these beautiful vegetables. Stude nts will also build and use vocabulary related to gardening and cooking to create botanical depictions and descriptions of the different species to make an identification book.

Books and websites:

The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley
At the end of the movie Kung Fu Panda (on DVD) there’s an excellent sequence of Chinese noodle making.
Dumpling Soup by Jamma Kim Rattigan
How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman
The International Cookbook for Kids
Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge

Recipes

Delicious Eggplant

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stems trimmed
5 tablespoons broth or water
2 green onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves
1 small jalapeƱo chili, chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 tablespoon peanut oil
1-1/4 pounds eggplant, cut lengthwise into -3/4-inch-wide slices and slices cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide-strips
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Combine cilantro, 1 tablespoon broth, green onions, garlic, chili and ginger in processor and puree until paste forms.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot. Add half of eggplant. Cover skillet and cook until eggplant is tender and beginning to brown, turning once, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining eggplant. Add cilantro paste and soy sauce to skillet and stir over medium-high heat 2 minutes.

Return eggplant to skillet and add remaining 4 tablespoons broth. Stir until sauce thickens and boils and eggplant is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.

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