There are three interesting facts about artichokes, a perennial plant that can be used from the root to the top as food and medicine. The first one is its legendary origin: it originated in the Mediterranean and the ancient Greeks used it as a vegetable and in medicines a long time ago. The second one is that few people know that artichoke is a perennial plant that can grow up to two meters tall. One and a half years after it is planted, flower buds will form; if we don’t prune the plant to get its leaves and roots for tea and medicine, the next crop will produce fewer flowers (one flower per plant). The third interesting thing is that if we buy a large artichoke flower and leave it alone in the house without dipping it into water, after a week, the flower will bloom until it becomes a beautiful lavender thistle-like flower. And, of course, the chef that cooks the artichoke best must be the Head chef of Saigon Dalat Hotel, a native of Dalat, the city of the most impressive kinds of flowers.
PORK SHANK STEW WITH ARTICHOKE FLOWERPrint This
- 500g pork shank
- 1.5 liters water
- 2 large artichoke globes
- 5g rock sugar
- 5g salt
- 5g seasoning powder
- 5g ground black pepper
- 1 lime
- 10g cilantro
- 1 liter iced water
- 1red cayenne pepper
Preparation: Clean the pork shank thoroughly and drain it well in a basket. Remove the lower layers of scales and the inner core. Peel its stem with a vegetable peeler, then cut into rings, 1cm thick. Squeeze the lime to get its extract.
Process: Cut the pork shank into bite-size pieces and poach them in boiling water. Cut the core of the artichoke globe into pieces, about 2cm, and then soak them in a bowl of iced water with the lime extract to prevent them from turning brown.
Stew the artichoke: Pour 1.5 liters of water into a pot, bring it to a boil, and then add pork shank, artichoke scales and the artichoke rings. Wait until the water boils again, skim off foam from the top, add 5g salt, 5g rock sugar, then slow-cook it over low heat. Occasionally skim off the foam from the top to get a clear broth. When the pork shank is almost tender, take out all the artichoke scales and rings of its stem, then add the core and simmer them until tender. Add 5g seasoning powder and season to taste.
Ladle the stew into serving bowls, sprinkle pepper and cilantro on it. Serve hot with rice and fish sauce with red pepper.
The pork shank should be tender, the broth clear and elegantly sweet, light brown with a typical aroma of artichoke.
Select the front leg because it is lean. The dish is more delicious if the water is replaced with pork stock.
Pork ribs can be used to replace pork shank.
EFFECTS OF THIS DISH
This dish combines the nutrition value of pork and artichoke flower; therefore, it is useful for those who suffer asthenic body syndrome, anemia (blood deficiency), blood poisoning, high fever, constipation, damaged kidneys, stomachache, liver impairment, urinary stone disease, decreased urine output, rheumatism, gout, intestinal bacterial growth, diabetes, and for postpartum women who are unable to produce enough breast milk.
LE VAN SY Saigon Dalat Hotel (Lam Dong Province) Champion of the Central Highlands Preliminary Round of the Golden Spoon Awards 2013