You are probably adapting to the extreme heat these few days. In the wisdom of Chinese medicine, this hottest time of the year, requires us to pay extra attention in clearing the dampness, and to regulate the qi in our body. Here are some delicious remedies made from our harvest!
Shall we look at some tips on growing cucumbers and peanuts before moving onto the recipes?
青瓜和花生的種植 Growing Cucumbers and Peanuts
Cucumber, just like wax gourd that belongs to the cucurbitaceae family, is said to be perfect for clearing extra heat and dampness in our body - causes of water retention. Peanut, on the other hand, is good for the spleen, stomach and lung, which can be eaten throughout the year, especially when we intake too much iced drinks in Summer!
We talked about growing cucumbers in our SEED BLOG - Summer Series. Our recipe this time uses mini cucumber Fadia as our ingredient, but we recommend you to grow Passandra instead for Autumn sow in August-September, as this variety works better with shorter day-length. Expect first harvest within 2 months.
Peanuts, which seeds were saved in our Wong Chuk Hang nursery, is a variety with white flesh coated in a thin layer of red skin. This variety with big and fragrant nuts is perfect for boiling and drying. Similar to cucumber, peanuts can be grown twice a year in Hong Kong, and Autumn sow occurs in August - September. Expect harvest in 100 days. It is a long journey until harvest of peanuts, but it does not require much fertilizers or field management, it helps soil for nitrogen fixation, and it does not require much water as it grows well in sandy soil. Just one thing - peanuts need calcium - hydrated lime or bone meal can provide such element. Make sure to cook your peanuts as soon as possible after you harvest them - there are two reasons: wet peanuts can germinate very quickly, and dry peanuts are difficult to cook to the right texture.
簡易夏日食譜 Quick and Easy Summer Recipes
1. 台式青瓜醬油漬 Taiwan-style Soy Sauce Pickled Cucumber
This is a very quick and easy recipes, but an authentic one which you will encounter in Taiwan cuisine.
Follow the below ratio for the pickle brine
- 青瓜 Cucumber --------------------- x1
- 醬油 Soy sauce --------------------- 10ml
- 白醋 White Vinegar ----------------- 10ml
- 砂糖 Sugar ---------------------------- 10g (可酌量減少)
- 水 Water -------------------------------- 5ml
3. 將醬汁倒進備用的青瓜 ，放雪櫃一晚後享用。如果醬料未能完全蓋過青瓜，可以在途中翻拌1-2次
1. Make sure your cucumbers are washed and wiped. Slice and put them into a clean glass container
2. Put all the seasoning into a small pot to make the brine. Turn off heat when sugar is melted
3. Pour in the brine to your cucumber. Store in refigerator overnight to allow thorough absorption. If the brine cannot cover all cucumber slices, make sure to mix them once or twice to allow full coverage
We have garnished our cucumber pickles with the edible flower - Torenia this time. Torenia is refreshing, with a flavour of sour and sweetness, which matches the cucumber pickles. Apart from Passandra, you may also try this recipe with Green Beauty or White Fashion!
2. 鹹乾花生 Boiled and Dried Salted Peanuts
This is a snack that has passed on generation in Southern China region, among different cultural groups such as Hakka or Teochew. Adjust the following ratio accordingly to the amount of your harvest.
- 連殼花生 Whole shell peanuts ---------------- x 100
- 鹽 Salt ------------------------- 2茶匙 / 2 teaspoons
- 水 Water ---------------------- 約1.5L / Approx. 1.5L
- 花椒&八角(*隨意) / Sichuan Peppercorn & Anise (*Optional) -- 共半兩 / Approx. 15g
- 黃皮葉(*隨意) / Whampi Leaves (*Optional) -------- x 2-3
1. Cook peanuts as soon as possible after their harvest. Wash thoroughly, then place into pot. Both tap water or boiling water work fine. Add salt and all spices into water.
2. When the water is boiled, turn to medium heat and boil for 1 hour. Taste the peanuts afterwards to make sure they are starting to get soft. Turn off heat and cover lid again, leave the peanuts for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Take out the peanuts and sundried until dried. If you do not have the space and time, try baking the peanuts with 180℃ for 30 minutes, or until they are dried
Let us know if you have any rustic Summer recipes through Facebook/Instagram! Happy Gardening!