Onion Weed Recipe
Cooking with onion weed is the highlight of spring in The Veggie Tree kitchen, we literally have it every day in some form or other, it is my absolute favourite wild herb. A foragers delight, with its juicy stalks and pretty little white flowers they are a perfect alternative to chives and spring onions with
its delicate onion flavour.
I've been picking onion weed stems for drying, (super salt is a pantry staple here, recipe on theveggietree.com) and just had a ton of beautiful flower clusters, so decided to sauté them in extra virgin olive oil and butter with a pinch of salt and pepper... AMAZING!!!
Wood ear fungus/mushrooms are known as Hakeke here in New Zealand and black fungus in China, offers many benefits, such as protecting the liver, lowering cholesterol and promoting gut health. They grow prolifically in New Zealand’s bush and have a crunchy foresty flavour and are best to harvest after rain when they are lush and jelly like. Wood ear fungus can grow as big as an outstretched hand or like cute little ears. I love to add these to this dish for texture and extra nutrients but are not essential.
Dandan Onion Weed Flowers Recipe
Vegan | Gluten-free
Serves 4 as a side dish
A colander full of onion weed flower clusters, approximately 4 cups
3-4 fresh wood ear mushrooms, sliced thinly (optional)
6 flowering ruruhau, mizuna, wild mustard or broccoli tops (optional) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon butter, plant-based or dairy 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/4 cup water Melt the olive oil and butter on a high heat and add the mushrooms, stir and add the onion weed clusters and ruruhau if using. Sauté, moving often for 1 minute, add the water and seasoning and cook for another 2 minutes. Pop into a bowl and eat it right up, add some dandan chilli oil (below) or fermented chilli sauce, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, stirred through noodles or served as a side dish.
Dandan Infused Chilli Oil
Dandan is in reference to the carrying poles that street vendors would use in Szechuan province in China to sell their famous noodle dish to customers. One pole would have the noodles and the other the sauce which is the base to dandan noodles.
Pouring hot oil onto the spices is technically called blooming the spices but I love the reference to the street hawkers taking it to the people. This hot spicy oil is so tasty and unctuous it’ll soon become one of your favourite additions to have on hand in the pantry for a spicy kick to any number of recipes including to top noodles, rice, tofu, eggs and of course this onion weed flower sauté.
Sichuan pepper is an aromatic, tangy, numbing pepper husk which is not related to the peppercorn or chilli family. The tingling Sichuan pepper notes offset the piquant heat of chilli peppers, allowing the other flavours of a dish to shine through. Sichuan papper comes from Zanthoxylum bungeanum which is a species of plant in the Rutaceae plant family. The numbing quality of Sichuan peppercorns comes from a chemical compound called hydroxy-alpha sanshool, which causes a sensation of micro-vibrations across the tongue and lips. These Sichuan pepper husks were grown here in New Zealand in the
Wairarapa by my dad.
Dandan Infused Chilli Oil Recipe
Vegan | Gluten-free
Makes 1 cup
1 cup rice bran or preferred neutral oil
3 tablespoons chilli flakes
2 tablespoons Sichuan pepper
1 cinnamon quill, broken in half
2 kawakawa or horopito leaves, roughly torn (optional)
1 clove garlic, squashed
Heat the oil to 180°C in a pot on the stove top. Meanwhile add the chilli flakes, Sichuan pepper, star-anise, cinnamon, kawakawa and garlic to a heat proof bowl, pour the hot oil over with caution as the fresh leaves and garlic may spit and bubble. Leave to cool and infuse. Keep in a lidded jar in the pantry and use to spice up your life!