Summer pineapple – Pineapple Stir-fry, Pineapple Tea
菠蘿兩食 - 菠蘿炒苦瓜、菠蘿茶
Pineapple is one of my favourite summer fruit for its sweet and tart taste. Also, it is one of the healthiest fruit among all. It packs with a variety of vitamins and minerals; it’s a good source of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes; it can aid digestion.
There are dishes using pineapple in Cantonese cuisine. The most famous must be Sweet and Sour Pork 咕咾肉, deep-fried crispy pork belly stir-fried with pineapple and chili pepper in sweet and sour sauce, or pineapple fried rice. In this post, I would share with you a quick vegetarian stir-fry, and a drink, using pineapple.
How to cut a pineapple
- Lay the pineapple on its side and chop off the top and bottom;
- Then cut the peel off the sides, as close to the edge of the pineapple as you can. The area closer to the peel edge and the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and tenderer texture;
- Cut off the eyes in spiral. In this way you could keep more sweetest flesh of the fruit;
- The core is usually hard and tasteless so I would trim out the core.
Stir-fried Pineapple and Bittermelon
This dish is a balance of sweetness, sourness and bitterness. Bitter melon is seasonal in summer and is a must-have for Cantonese. It’s also one of the healthiest vegetable, read more about bitter melon in my previous posts, search ‘bittermelon’.
- Pineapple, 400g
- Bitter melon, 1, about 400g
- Oyster sauce, or vegetarian oyster sauce, 2tbsp, obtain it in any Chinese grocery stores
- Garlic, 2 cloves
- Chinese cooking wine, 1tbsp
- Cornstarch, 1tsp
How to do –
- Pineapple cut into bite size; garlic sliced; bitter melon halves, remove the seeds spongy part with a spoon as deep as you can then sliced;
- If you don’t like it too bitter, sprinkle a good pinch of salt on the bitter melon and toss evenly, wait at least 10 minutes for the melon to sweat in order to draw out some of the bitterness, then wash in runny water to remove the salt;
3. Prepare the sauce. In a mixing bowl, put in 2tbsp of oyster sauce, 1tsp of cornstarch and 2tbsp of water, mix well;
4. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in hot wok, in high heat, stir-fry garlic slices till fragrant; put in bitter melon, stir-fry for a few minutes till colour turns darker; put in pineapple, flip the wok and mix them well; pour in the sauce and 1tbsp of Chinese cooking wine, flip the wok or stir with frying spoon right away till the sauce turns sticky and coated evenly, serve right away; pineapple sweats quickly when heated, so it has to be quick.
- Frozen pineapple cubes
- Tea bag or tea leaves, I would prefer Oolong tea or any green tea
How to do –
For this drink, I would use cold-brew tea – put tea bag or tea leaves in cool water and chill in fridge for a day; then blend smoothly with frozen pineapple; you may add a little syrup but I usually wont.