This mixed vegetable dish is tender and succulent, with a subtle toasted flavor from toasted rice powder. It’s traditionally made by steaming the vegetables and rice powder in a leaf-wrapped package. This adaptation uses a pot with a tight-fitting lid and a small amount of oil to prevent sticking. The vegetables slow-cook in their own steam, very like the Shan method of cooking called oop (see Simmered Cabbage, Shan Style).

The combination of vegetables here is a place to start but you can, for instance, substitute another leafy green for the bok choi. The important thing is to use vegetables that will soften easily in the steam, which means no carrots or other hard root vegetables. Every version of this dish that I have tasted includes a bitter element—I use radicchio or dandelion greens or a combination—as well as a balancing hint of sweetness and heat from ginger and a little red chile. With one chile, the heat is barely perceptible; two give more warmth.

Serve with roast chicken or roast beef or as a vegetarian main course.

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Toasted Rice Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Roasted Peanuts, ground even finer
  • About 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup yard-long beans, cut into 1-inch lengths, or substitute sliced green beans
  • ½ to 1 cup coarsely chopped small bok choi leaves
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 cup chopped radicchio or dandelion greens, or a mixture
  • 1 or 2 red cayenne chiles, seeded and finely sliced
  • ½ cup sliced oyster or button mushrooms or other tender mushrooms
  • ½ cup small okra or tender broccolini cut into ½-inch lengths, or substitute some small zucchini, sliced
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped Vietnamese coriander
  • ¼ cup chopped sawtooth herb or sorrel
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Method

Place a wide heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the rice powder, peanuts, oil, and water and mix, then add all the remaining ingredients and stir and turn to mix them well. Cover tightly, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes (take a peek after about 5 minutes and give a thorough stir to make sure things aren’t sticking; if they are, add another couple tablespoons 0f water and lower the heat a little more, then cover again).

Turn out into a bowl and serve.

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