4 Chinese summer vegetables you don't know – Italian Cuisine


Not only pack choi and bean sprouts, Chinese vegetables are a world as big as China. Here are some, in season, like bamboo to eat fresh and faceted zucchini, explained by Giulia Liu of the Gong Oriental Attitude restaurant in Milan

Bamboo and mushrooms, sauteed bean sprouts and the ever-present pock choi, which has now entered the kitchens of Italian chefs as well as those of chefs of Chinese origin. Chinese cuisine for us Italians is limited to a few known dishes (such as Cantonese rice, which does not exist in China … but this is another story) and even fewer vegetables. Always the same, partly because we had to adapt to the tastes of us Italians, partly because finding something else was not easy. Now everything is different, and in Italy new varieties of vegetables arrive, both produced in China and grown in Italy.

Giulia Liu, owner of Gong Oriental Attitude, is of inese origin, born in Wenzhou, in the Zhejiang region, but in Italy since the age of 4 years. Explain that "today on the table ingredients like pak choi, ginger, tofu, soy beans, daikon, have become common, but there is still so much to say and tell. China is a huge country rich in stories, traditions and ingredients, and its cuisine can be traced back to 5 geographical areas, each characterized by a particular style. I am originally from Eastern China, which is why the restaurant is called Gong Oriental Attitude, and the cuisine of Eastern China, that is, of the Zhejiang area, is rich in vegetables .

The lightness of the Chinese summer

In China, the best way to "cool off" when it's hot is to change food, favoring vegetables and vegetable-based dishes. In fact, in the summer period, especially in Eastern China, agriculture is at its peak. «It is important to remember that for the Chinese, vegetables are not just a simple side dish, but a true and proper flow. It serves to "clean" the taste and the mouth and to bring "balance" between the dishes, very proteinic, based on meat and fish. This is why Chinese recipes based on vegetables are never complicated, but they respect the flavor of the pure ingredient without overwhelming it .

The Gong Oriental Attitude restaurant proposes Chinese haute cuisine in a creative way and in its summer menu cooks a series of particular and little-known vegetables in the West and in Italy, a journey of taste that can tell the culture of an immense country, which we still know little: fresh bamboo, from which we obtain the tender heart to be blown up in the wok, the Kong xin cai, that is the "vegetable with a hollow heart", the Ba lun gua, the "zucchina" with 8 corners, or the Fo shou gua or "fist vegetable". Like all restaurant dishes, they are designed by the owner Giulia Liu together with chef Gugliemo Paolucci.

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