Everything noodle soup. Don't you think? Above, I see smooth white noodles in a savory broth, meaty shiitake mushrooms, floppy black wood ear, thinly sliced pork belly, yellow daylily buds, and fresh chopped cilantro.
Wait, what did I just say?! Yes, daylily buds. Those pretty summer garden fixtures, the yellow-orange common daylily, are a delicious and sweet edible flower. They're great fresh and lightly stir fried, but here, since they're a bit softer, I can tell they're rehydrated buds that we've dried in a food dehydrator in a previous summer. My father has a large planting of daylilies in his garden and though they bloom for a very long season, they grow in great profusion in the thick of the summer. To take advantage of the large number of blooms, we pick and dry them. They're perfect added to soups and noodle dishes through the fall and winter months. Try these fragrant edible flowers today - the Chinese Kitchen Garden book tells a lot more about how to grow and use these edible flowers.
To take advantage of the fast and furious bamboo harvest season, we like to harvest all we can and dehydrate the shoots. These can be stored for about a year (or more) in a dry environment and to use, we just rehydrate what we need by soaking in water for about an hour or so.
To dehydrate bamboo shoots:
In the Chinese kitchen garden, the summer vegetable harvest is in full swing. Part of this harvest is also the picking of daylily buds. Just a handful of these thrown in a stir-fry (like my mom's chicken, celery and daylily version) adds color, texture, and a slightly fragrant sweetness that I love! The large daylily patch has been blooming like gangbusters and what we can't eat now, we'll dry in a food dehydrator for use through the year. To rehydrate, just soak in water for 15 minutes or so. Learn more about daylily buds and other edible flowers in The Chinese Kitchen Garden!
I'm Wendy Kiang-Spray, gardener, home cook, and author of The Chinese Kitchen Garden. Learn more about the book here. Enjoy the blog and be sure to like The Chinese Kitchen Garden Facebook page for notifications when there are new posts.