by Kate Heyhoe
A woodsman walked through a bamboo grove and lost his footing, only to land in a tiger's lair. He tried to get out but couldn't. When the tiger returned, he expected to be killed, but instead the mother tiger fed him scraps of meat which she also fed to her cubs. He stayed there for a month or so, and then the tiger carried him out of the lair on her back. The woodsman was afraid he might be killed by wild animals, so the tiger agreed to escort him to the main highway. He promised to repay her kindness on a certain day by leaving a pig.
When the tiger arrived to get the pig, she was captured by hunters and presented to the local authorities. The woodsman told them how she had taken care of him, but they didn't believe him. The woodsman put his arms around the tiger and said tearfully, "Your Majesty saved my life?" The tiger nodded. "Your Majesty entered the gate to keep our appointment?" The tiger nodded again. "I shall plead for your life; if I fail, I shall die with you." As the woodsman spoke, the tiger's tears fell to the ground. Of the many thousands who witnessed this, none was unmoved. The astounded officials hastened to free the tiger, and gave her the promised pig. Later this district was named after the trusty tiger.
—From Chinese Fairy Tales & Fantasies, translated by Moss Roberts.
Celebrate the Year of the Tiger with this recipe for Mung Bean Sprout Salad, from Beyond Bok Choy: A Cook's Guide to Asian Vegetables. The color photos and detailed descriptions de-mystify even the most obscure Asian vegetables, and Rosa Lo San Ross' 70 recipes show you how to use them.Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Yields 4 to 6 servings
Second to snow peas, this is probably the best known Chinese vegetable. These sprouts are very perishable, but if you buy them and fresh from an Asian market, this is a great refreshing way to serve them.
1 pound mung bean sprouts (nga choy)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup unsalted or low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh spearmint or peppermint
2 scallions, green and white parts minced
Rinse the bean sprouts and spin-dry in a salad spinner. Place in a serving bowl.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, garlic, ginger, stock, sherry, olive oil, salt, and pepper until well blended. Stir in the mint.
Pour the dressing over the sprouts, sprinkle with scallions, and toss to blend well before serving.
Beyond Bok Choy
A Cook's Guide To Asian Vegetables
by Rosa Lo San Ross
Photographs by Martin Jacobs
$25.00/144 pages/70 recipes/over 60 full-color photographs
Reprinted by permission
For more online Chinese recipes:
Global Gourmet's China
This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.
Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified January 2007
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