How To Cook Vegetarian Chinese Food | Yan Can Cook | KQED

How To Cook Vegetarian Chinese Food | Yan Can Cook | KQED

(Chinese traditional music) (knife chopping) (Chinese traditional music) (audience applause) – [Announcer] And now,
Martin Yan, the Chinese chef. – Ni hao ma. That means
“how are you” in Chinese. Ho ho. Repeat, ho ho. – [Audience] Ho ho. – That means, I am wonderful. – [Audience] (laughs) – Today’s show is very special,
for very special people, for those who do not eat meat. I have designed a complete
Chinese vegetarian meal. We have tofu and green bean salad. We have vegetarian bean curd roll. And we also have
vegetarian tofu casserole. These are wonderful dishes all of you can go home and prepare because they’re low in calorie, and most of these available, most of them in
your local grocery store. Some of them, you might have to make a trip to the Far East to get it. – [Audience] (laughs) – For instance, in this particular dish, we are going to use some exotic ingredient and some less exotic ingredients. This is approximately a quarter of a cup of dried shrimp, okay? I soaked this for about half an hour. You can use about two ounces. And I also have one tablespoon of toasted or roasted sesame seeds, and I also have approximately one to two teaspoons of crushed chili pepper. This is hot. And then I also have half a package… Half a pound of bean
curd, which you can use the fresh one or you can use the pressed or the deep fried one. I also have sesame seed oil. I would also have rice vinegar, and I also have chili oil. And I also have all purpose soy sauce. Of course, you cannot make tofu and green bean salad without green bean. – [Audience] (laughs) – So we have approximately
one pound of green bean. Now you can use the regular green bean that you can find in supermarket, or you can use these Chinese green beans. They’re called yardlong beans. Very exotic. Very traditional. Right
now, it is in season. Because this is very sweet, very crunchy. The problem with this
is, you try to give them an inch, they want a whole yard. – [Audience] (laughs) – The reason why the Chinese call this yardlong bean is because some of the beans are exactly one yard, believe it or not. Let me measure it for you. – [Audience] (laughs) – I’ve got a yard stick here. – [Audience] (laughs) See. I am a very precise cook. When I cook, I always make sure everything I do is precise. If I say yardlong bean,
I’ve got to make sure darn thing is one yard. – [Audience] (laughs) – Darn thing is 29 and 1/4,
so it’s not yardlong bean. So in that case, we may not be able to use this in this particular recipe. I’m not quite sure how many of you know that this is the toupee
for the Jolly Green Giant. – [Audience] (laughs) – Just kidding. (knife clangs rhythmically) (audience applauds) – And I always do that … This give me energy, get me excited, and drives me crazy. (knife clangs rhythmically) – When you use green beans,
you trim the tip off. One, two, particularly if
you are already retired. You do it one by one. It takes weeks to finish two pounds. – [Audience] (laughs) – If you are always in a rush, you put them all together
and go quick… quick. You put them all, set aside. This, you do exactly the same thing, okay? You trim the tip off; you
trim the tip off, okay? And then you cut it at a slanted angle. (knife clangs rhythmically) – Cut it up one, two
three, at a slanted angle. One, two. Slanted angle. One, two. Slanted angle. One, two, three. Then put them all together. After this is cut, you
can water blanch these. The idea of water blanch this is because you can cook a lot at the same time. So we’re going to put it here, and do water blanching. Normally when I do water blanching, this is what I do. I put a tiny bit of salt,
okay? A tiny bit of salt. And I also use a tiny bit
of oil or sesame seed oil to give that nice flavor, and also keep the green pigment inside
these nice green bean. I understand– – [Audience Member] Question for you. – Lai over there have a question for us. – Yes, I do. My doctor said all women
should be very concerned about their calcium intake everyday. – [Yan] Yes. – And he recommended
that all of us should eat food that has high calcium content. Since I love Dao food so much, I eat it about four or five times a week, and I would like to… but I don’t want to gain weight, okay? So therefore, I would like to know how many calories are
there in one container, which is 16 ounces, of
tofu? Approximately. – That is not enough
calorie for a lot of people. It’s a little bit too much
for some other people. – [Audience] (laughs) (knife clangs rhythmically) – Tofu has very, very little calories, particularly if it’s fresh tofu. It’s not deep fried
tofu, it’s not too bad. Basically, you can steam it, this means you cook it in its natural state. Very high calcium, high
protein, very low calorie. I eat tofu for breakfast,
lunch, and dinner. I am so skinny. (laughs) – [Audience] (laughs) (knife clangs rhythmically) – This is bean curd.
I’m going to cut it up. This is pressed bean curd, or you can use deep fried bean curd. Depends on whether you
are calorie counter. And I slice it up like
this, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, then all done. Put it all together, and then go one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. All done. Set this aside, and then you put it into this gigantic bowl here, okay? Do not overcook your green bean, because you should cook
it for approximately two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minutes over medium-high to high.
You can even steam it. When it’s ready, you put the green bean. Let it drain. See, nice
and green like this. Put it here, and then you
make a dressing, okay? You make a nice dressing. Let’s put them all down
here, and then here, we’re going to make a dressing. With this, I have one
teaspoon to one tablespoon of sesame seed oil. Wonderful aromatic. Chanel number 25! – [Audience] (laughs) Particularly, you ran out of those, and also I use one to two
tablespoons of rice vinegar. This is very aromatic, rice vinegar. Also use approximately one
tablespoon of soy sauce, and then also use one
tablespoon of toast sesame seed. One tablespoon of exactly
15,025 pieces of sesame seed. – [Audience] (laughs) – Put them all together. For those who love to
set your hair on fire, use crushed chili pepper. This will be very, very hot and spicy. For those who do not want to bother to go to the hairdresser for
the rest of your life, you use twice as much. Then you mix them all up.
Put them whole right here. And then, toss these with these two Chinese wooden spoon. Available… in California. – [Audience] (laughs) – You toss it. When it’s done, let it sit. Now for those who want exotic ingredients, you can also use a
tiny, tiny bit of these, and cut it up like this. One, two, three. This is give an exotic
touch to the whole dish. When it’s done, you can serve
in this antique platter. This is approximately 200 years old, passed on from my grandfather’s
great-great-grandmother. Look at how gorgeous this look. – [Audience] (applauds) – Leo… Leo over there have a
question for us, too. – Are potatoes used in Chinese cooking? – Yes, in recent year,
potatoes widely used in many parts of China, including the part where I was born, in Guangzhou, China. But the potato was not
originally grown in China. It was introduced to China
a couple hundred years ago. Now they have potato
pancake, and this and that. In fact, one of those
shows, we show people how to use potato the Chinese way. The next dish I’m going to show you is vegetarian bean curd roll. I promise you today the complete menu is vegetarian, so we’ve
got to keep the promise. Here, for this particular dish,
you need bean curd sheets. This is dry bean curd sheets. Then we also have julienned
or shredded bamboo shoot, ginkgo nut, sweet date. This is pitted date. Julienned or shredded green onion. Shredded carrot, and shredded mushroom. And of course, I also use approximately one cup to one-and-a-half
cup of glutinous rice. And also, you’ve got to season this with some soy sauce, with approximately two tablespoons of soy
sauce, and approximately one tablespoon of hoisin sauce. And also, use a tiny, tiny
bit of sesame seed oil and a touch of white pepper, if you wish. If you don’t want, no problem. Now we start with this
bean curd sheet first. These bean curd sheets are dehydrated, dried bean curd sheets. When they make the tofu, they have this as the byproduct, okay?
This is so beautiful. You can use this for many, many things, including dessert. One of the problem is, you can have a lot of bean curd sheets, but
it’s almost impossible to find matching pillow cases anywhere. – [Audience] (laughs) – I got you this time. Now, the next thing I want to show you is, when you use this, the
most important thing is, you’ve got to soak this
until they’re nice and soft. After you soak it, you trim it to about six inches times six
inches, like this, okay? This way, you set this
aside, and I’m going to cut up some mushroom and some carrot so we can stir fry this here. While I’m cutting it up, I’m going to put some oil in here in this frying pan. I use exactly 17-and-a-half
drops of polyunsaturated oil. – [Audience] (laughs) (knife clangs rhythmically) (knife chops) (audience applauds) – Nothing to it. – [Audience] (laughs) (knife chops) – [Audience] (murmurs) – I can’t believe it myself. Look at this. (audience applauds) – Never cease to amaze myself. Now when this done, let it set aside. We’re going to stir fry this. Heat up the frying pan. Get a spatula. This is nonstick frying
pan. You can use a wok. You can use regular wok to do it. First, I would get a tiny bit of garlic. Normally, you can take the
whole thing out like this. If it doesn’t come out, that means this darn thing… You are out of shape. – [Audience] (laughs) – Normally, it come out. Darn thing needs to get aerobic exercise. – [Audience] (laughs) – Now we put it here.
You mash these like this. (knife chops) – Ho! Put it right here. Stir fry these ingredients, okay? Date. Oh, I also have ginkgo nut. These are little pieces of ginkgo nuts. Put it all over here, all the ingredients. Toss it. Toss it. High heat. Toss it, toss it. Toss it. Make sure you toss in the right direction, so by the time you finish, you still have everything here. Not in the wrong place, down there. – [Audience] (laughs) – And I also use a tiny bit of green beans to give some more color
contrast to my dish, okay? Now, another thing I
want to mention to you, is this is glutinous rice. This is how it looks when it’s raw. Look at this, glutinous rice. A little bit different than
the regular long grain rice. This, you use this to
make Chinese tamales, to make desserts, rice puddings, and all those things. This is gingko nut. Now in North America, you put… When people go to wedding
party, you throw this long grain rice all over people’s place. See, long grain rice does not stick. If you throw the glutinous rice, they can get stuck forever. – [Audience] (laughs) – That’s the reason why in China, there are so few divorces. They throw glutinous rice. Stir fry these, and put the seasoning right in here. Ooh, look at this. Stir, toss, toss. Stir. After this is done, put some rice here. Mix them all up. Stir, stir, stir. Now, to save time, I
want to mention to you I have done some of these ahead of time. Like these, and I want to show you how you make the roll. You put it right here, and
you put this ingredient right here, just like you fold… egg roll. You put all the ingredients here, you get a tiny bit of… flour paste, then you fold in like this. Fold it in, fold it in, fold it in, and then you go like this. And then put a tiny bit
of flour paste right here, and then you fold it up like this. Then you have a little pouch like this. Then, after this… You will cook this. You can brown this. You can deep fry this just like egg roll. Put it right here and brown this. And brown this. And I have two already
done for you to save time. Now this is one of the very few dishes that you have soy sauce, bean curd sheets, they’re just like cousins. They’re just like… because they’re all make from soybeans, just like a reunion. Family reunion from a long-lost cousin. – [Audience] (laughs) – Put them all together. After this is done, you cut
it up like this at an angle. It looks absolutely
gorgeous. Look at this. (audience applauds) (audience applause drowns out Yan) – I want to show you
the dish, look at this. It is beautiful, work of art. I’m going to show you something very exciting in the next few minutes. (audience applauds) – I promised you something
about exotic vegetable in this wonderful, exotic
Chinese vegetarian menu. Here, we start out here with bitter melon. This a whole one, and this is one which is already cut open. You can tell it’s bitter,
because it’s all wrinkled up. Got a very harsh, bitter life. This is how they normally do it. They take the seed away, and they cut it into little rings,
and they can stuff it, or they can blanch it in water, oil… Or water blanching it in water, and then you can stir fry it with beef and black bean sauce. One of the most classical Cantonese dish. This one is fuzzy melon.
We also call hairy melon. You can tell this darn
thing need a little shave. In China, they still do
it the old fashioned way. They don’t remember how
to straight shave knife, in China, they use this to do everything. – [Audience] (laughs) – Dangerous. Here is a Chinese okra. When you eat this,
basically you peel this off. Peel this off, and you row
cut it into bite-sized chunks. Put in soup and stew dishes and stir fry. Here, this is lotus root, just like the Chinese Swiss cheese. You can stir fry it;
you can put it in soup. This is Chinese chive,
with a little thing. You can put it and cut it up into little piece scrambled egg with it. Delicious. These are the ugliest vegetables I have ever seen in my whole life. – [Audience] (laughs) – This is preserved turnip.
This is Sichuan pickle. And this is dehydrated bok choy. All of these can be used in
stir fry dishes and soups. This particular one is very famous for Sichuan Hunan dishes. You can do it in stir fry and soup, particularly in hot and sour soup. I know Phyllis over there
have a wonderful question. – Why did you leave China, Martin? – There are too many Chinese cooks, and not enough television shows. – [Audience] (laughs) – And since I want to do television show, that’s why I have to take off. The next dish I want to show you is vegetarian tofu casserole. Wonderful dish. Here, I have some sesame seed
oil and soy sauce right here. And I have two little
cubes of red bean curd, used as a flavoring. Some chopped garlic, two cloves. Some cellophane noodle, okay? You can deep fry it or
you can put it in soup. You can also have some tiger lily bud. Wood ear mushroom. Green onion. Use approximately one ounce of each. Some shredded carrot.
Chinese Oriental mushroom. They are dry. And also, pressed bean curd. And of course, half a cup to three-quarters cup of broth. I’m going to cut this up. (knife chops) – Look at what you’re doing! – [Audience] (laughs softly) – When this is all done… Wow. (audience applauds) – When this is all done, all I have to do is sprinkle some oil around this. I’m going to cook this into this clay pot. You can cook this in clay pot. You can cook it in a… wok. You can cook it in a frying pan. You can cook it in a casserole. Okay? But traditionally, they
cook it in this clay pot. You put this in, and you
mash this red bean curd, two cubes, to get some
flavor out of these. You can actually cook the
whole thing out of here. Okay? And when this is
bring it to a nice boil, you put this, all this
ingredient right inside here. And turn it down to medium to medium-low. Make sure you do that
medium to medium-low. And stir, mix, so they
can cook nice and evenly, and of course, you should add
a teeny, tiny bit of broth. This is vegetarian broth. You can buy vegetarian broth
in some health food stores, or you can make your own vegetarian broth by using carrot and celery and
all those wonderful things. Then you put it right here. Wow. Putting more here. Don’t
use more than this. Otherwise, you’re not
going to make casserole. You’re going to end up making
Chinese vegetarian soup. – [Audience] (laughs) – So make sure you don’t use… Because by the time you let it cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, most the water can reduce so
you just have enough sauce. Now, also, we can also
increase the protein content by using a kind of a
cellophane noodle, okay? Oh, we use cellophane noodle. Soak them in warm water for approximately half an hour, okay? You can deep fry it. Remember when you use the noodle, you deep fry (mumbles), woo! Really pop up, okay? You can put in soup, make bean curd soup with cellophane noodle, or
you can make casserole, okay? Now, I’m not quite sure
how many of you know, in China, names are very
important in Chinese culture. Particularly in food. That’s why a lot of the dish called (speaks Chinese) duck, you see? And handful of gold coins,
and things like that. But same thing with vegetable. They’re very poetic, and some of the names are very symbolic. In the US, we have names like broccoli… rutabaga… In China, we have names lily buds, cloud ear mushrooms… red in snow. So poetic, and it’s also another name called (speaks Chinese). You know what that means? – [Audience] No. – Broccoli. – [Audience] (laughs) – That’s Chinese broccoli.
They call it (speaks Chinese). Now, let us cover this up,
and I want to mention to you. If you have a small family, you cook it in a small clay pot like this. You have a big family, you cook it in a big clay pot like this. If you want to make soup for an army, you cook it in this soup pot like this. If you are a single parent, you cook in a little small dinky thing like that. – [Audience] (laughs) – For a family of one, for
a family of two to four, for a family of six,
for a family up to 50, you can cook it right here. I want to show you a couple of things which are very, very interesting. These are lily buds. Dry
lily buds. Tiger lily buds. These are dry mushrooms,
and these are wood ear. You soak them. After you soak them, it
looks like this. Look. – [Audience] (laughs) – Until next time, remember, if Yan Can Cook, so can you. (speaks Chinese) (audience applauds) (traditional Chinese music)

9 thoughts on “How To Cook Vegetarian Chinese Food | Yan Can Cook | KQED

  1. Thanks for doing the weekly uploads of Martin Yan, I really looked forward to seeing the video in my feed today and it was a delight to watch.

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