To help you get the most out of the current crop of autumn ingredients, we’ve selected 10 vegetables that are at their best during autumn, paired with autumn recipes from across Asia.
Green beans are bountiful from late summer through autumn. Serve them raw in salads, quickly stir-fried, or added to curries for extra colour and crunch. One of our favourite ways to serve green beans is in this classic Indonesian stir-fry with minced pork and sambal oelek.
For an autumn superfood, it’s hard to go past nutrient-rich broccoli. Take your pick of traditional broccoli florets or Chinese broccoli (gai lan) for virtuous autumn stir-fries, such as this recipe for beef and Chinese broccoli with rice noodles and oyster sauce.
Robust cabbage is high in antioxidants and vitamin C, making it a wise addition to your kitchen in the lead-up to winter. Add Asian varieties such as pak choy, gai choy, choi sum and wombok to soups and stews, or keep things fresh by briefly stir-frying it, as in this dish of chilli garlic prawns with Shanghai pak choy.
Equally at home in Asian and Mediterranean recipes, versatile eggplant soaks up all of the lovely flavours in a dish. Its velvety texture is ideal steamed, stewed or fried, and it works a treat in this sweet prawn and eggplant curry from Indonesia, or an elegant Japanese starter of wasabi and miso eggplant.
Meaty mushrooms are packed with iron and immunity-boosting properties, making them a popular choice with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Get to know the range of Asian mushrooms available, then try them stir-fried with pork, soy and noodles, or in an autumnal stew of braised mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
Whether you choose starchy white potatoes or low-GI sweet potatoes, think of the humble spud as a flavour-soaking sponge. They’re the star of the show in Korean japchae, made using sweet-potato noodles, and a must-have addition to Thai massaman curry.
A favourite ingredient in warming autumn soups and roasts, pumpkin has a sweet, mild flavour the whole family will love. To spice up this golden vegetable, add it to this Panaeng pumpkin and lentil soup.
Bright-green snow peas add colour and texture to Chinese stir-fries and salads. A staple in the Cantonese kitchen, snow peas are ideal in this easy dish of chicken and snow peas with oyster sauce, or stir-fried squid, snow peas and Chinese celery.
Also commonly sold as shallots, spring onions are the long, thin green onions that don’t have a pronounced bulb. They’re mild enough to eat raw, tossed through salads or used as a garnish, or added to this authentic pajeon, a Korean seafood and spring onion pancake.
Have you noticed how big the zucchinis at your greengrocer are these days? That’s because these low-calorie vegetables are at their best from late summer to the end of autumn. These grilled vegetarian skewers will make a great meat-free alternative at your next barbecue.
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