This is the year of the black water snake and in Shanghai, the Daily reports that tastes are tiring of rich foods and hankering for simpler fare hankering for spring. Hot pot, congee, stewed dishes are all in favor.
Food and health are one and the same for Chinese and part of daily life. It is traditionally good luck to eat arrowhead tubers on Chinese New Year. Another name for them is katniss, which the heroine of the Hunger Games is named for.
- 6 katniss tubers (ask for arrowhead or chi gu in Asian markets)
- ¼ cup coarse salt
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 scallions, chopped (we also used wild garlic shoots)
- 1 Tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Wash the katniss tubers in warm water and remove.
Spread the rock salt in a layer on a baking tray (we used a loaf pan) and place the katniss on top and cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Peel the katniss tuber while still warm and cut in to quarters.
Heat the sesame oil in a medium pan at medium high heat. Stir fry the katniss until they reach a golden color. Add the garlic, red pepper, scallions and sesame seeds, toss and serve.
(For extra flavor you could add 1 tablespoon fish sauce or oyster sauce.)