18 June 2013

{Just Photos} Asian Winter Greens at Cook The Books

Last week I popped along to Cook the Books for a little green inspiration by way of Alan Fong from The Fresh Grower.  I have long been a fan of there little baby cos lettuce, just beautifully fresh & crisp.  Alan also grows a number of Asian greens...Shanghai pak choi, baby white Guangzhou pak choi alongside snow peas, beans, sugar snap peas, spinach & my favourite bellaverde; sweet stem broccoli. Not to mention the most gorgeous coriander that no one wanted to buy!!!

Alan’s family have been growing vegetables down in Pukekohe for 3 generations. Allan’s mission is to bring fresh bright greens to our dinner tables that look & taste delicious. The evening was packed pull of fresh, bright, simple flavours that can we whipped up for a speedy weeknight supper.

To start sweet chilli chicken baby cos canapes.  Chicken is marinated in cayenne, garlic, soy & vodka, yes vodka just a little.  Then simply stir fry the chicken & pile in in to baby cos leaves topped with a few crispy noodles for crunch. Bright, fresh & terribly moreish.

Next up the belleverde, even the name is beautiful.  I love broccoli & I love these tender little stems even more.  The belleverde was quickly steamed & then plunged in to ice cold water to keep its vibrant green hue.  It was then stir fried with a little garlic & just a splash of gin or vodka, just to stop it sticking & topped with a little soy before being piled atop some sizzling steak.  This one has since made a couple of appearances on my dinner table as quick & light supper.

One of my favourite dishes of the evening, I think everyone’s actually as the platters had barely a morsel left on them was the stir fry pork mince with baby white pack choi & crispy noodles .  Quite an achievement actually, as you never ever go hungry at Cook the Books, the portions are generous, to say the least!

I am assuming you notice the word crispy noodles, who doesn’t love a crispy noodle?  Well these are quite a treat & they are quite the healthy crispy noodle too. Boiled & then tossed with just a little oil they are baked in the oven before being topped with the pork that has been mixed with garlic, ginger, soy & of course just a splash of vodka & the baby white pak choi.  This is one of those dishes that left in front of you, you just can’t help but go back for a little more & a little more....

As if all that wasn’t enough, like I said you never go hungry at Cook the Books, we finished off with some stir fried rice with kailaan, a Chinese broccoli.  This one too has made a few appearances for dinner & lunch. Quick to whip up & there is just something wonderfully comforting & satisfying about a bowl of egg fried rice.

For more cooking inspiration & lots of cook books check out Cook the Books.

Cook The Books

139 Richmond Road (corner Norfolk St)
Grey Lynn,
New Zealand
Monday to Friday – 10am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10am to 4pm


  1. Those greens do look appealing - which I have to say is a huge compliment from me as I'm not keen on my greens. Now I just have to find which paddock Mr Fong is growing those lettuces in :)


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