Lily Bulbs Taste Reviews and Chinese Cooking Guides
Table of Contents
Why Do We Love To Eat Lily Bulbs?
Lily bulbs are root vegetables that are edible which looks similar to garlic. The taste of lily bulbs is similar to water chestnut but much sweeter. To clean lily bulbs, it is advisable to peel the petals to rinse under the water because dirt enters the lily bulbs. It has a long shelf life which can last up to a few months when it is kept refrigerated.
If you have not known this, lily bulbs are widely grown and cultivated in Asia especially in China, Japan, and Korea. Is it grown in both northern and central regions in China. Fresh lily bulbs can be bought when it is in season from spring towards the end of summer. Lily bulbs are considered to be yin in character as it has a cooling effect on the body making it ideal to consume during summer. In additional, lily bulbs are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. It helps to relieve symptoms of lung congestion, coughing or asthma.
How Does Lily Bulb Taste Like?
Fresh lily bulbs and dried lily bulbs have similar taste but different textures. Fresh lily bulbs have a slightly perfumed smell, crunchy texture and refreshing taste similar to green peas or lotus root. While dried lily bulbs have a delicate flavor, usually described as earthy, musky and sometimes sweet or slightly tart. Dried lily bulbs are frequently used for their unique aroma which is between fruity and flowery. However, when used in recipes, dried lily bulbs are chewy with slightly crunchy. The recommended pairings for lily bulbs are meat, celery, and red dates.
Best Chinese Lily Bulbs Dishes
Prior to using fresh lily bulbs, peel and rinse it thoroughly under running water to wash off the dirt before cooking. This is because lily bulbs grow in mud or sand and debris can be trapped in between the layers. However, dried lily bulbs do not require much preparation before using. Dried lily bulbs can simply be rinsed under running water and to use in cooking. The most popular dish when using fresh lily bulb is stir-fried lily bulb with celery. Stir-fried fresh lily bulb maintains its texture and sweetness which is the reason it is a more preferred option compared to using dried lily bulbs in the stir-fried method.
Stir-Fried Lily Bulb, Celery, and Cashew
Lily bulbs are frequently used in local cooking in Shanghai. Stir-fried lily bulb with celery is a light flavourful dish with a hint of flowery fragrance as celery has its own mild, sweet, aromatic flavors. Stir-fried lily bulb will maintain its crunchy flavour with a sweet taste. With the addition of cashew, it makes these three ingredients a wonderful pairing in terms of taste and texture.
Stir-Fried Beef with Fresh Lily Bulbs and Capsicum
Fresh lily bulbs are recommended for this dish as they are sweet and crunchy in texture. The sweetness of stir-fried lily bulb would pair perfectly with green capsicum which is less sweet than the red capsicum. This is due to the lower amount of sugar in the green capsicum. Using sesame oil in this dish will add aromatic, sesame flavor into the dish that keeps you coming back for more.
Pumpkin Soup with Dried Lily Bulbs
This Chinese pumpkin soup recipe using dried lily bulbs has its purported cooling effects. It is vegan, seasoning and meat-free recipe. The pumpkin, daikon, carrots, and red dates are an ideal substitute for the meat and it provides sweet flavor which does not require additional seasonings. Dried lily bulb adds a very faint earthy, sweet taste with slight tartness into the pumpkin soup. The dried lily bulbs are required to soak in hot boiling water for 20 – 30 minutes before adding it into the pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin and Lily Bulb Congee
This recipe is beneficial for cleansing our digestive system. The natural sweetness from the pumpkin makes it an ideal combination with rice grains and dried lily bulbs. Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to our heart, bones, eyes, and skin.
Steamed Chicken with Dried Lily Bulbs
Adding dried shiitake mushrooms and dried lily bulbs yield an earthy flavor to complement the chicken. Depending on the age of the dried lily bulbs, it may take the longest to cook if it is older. The taste of slight sweetness from the dried lily bulbs remains but the texture could differ depending on cooking time.
Cost and Where To Buy Lily Bulbs?
The cost of lily bulbs is $2 to $20 based on the amount and the quality of lily bulbs. The fresh lily bulbs in Asian market range from $3 to $8, which is much cheap than dried lily bulbs.
Asian markets offer fresh lily bulbs in a vacuum package. It needs to be stored in the fridge to keep it fresh. For dried lily bulbs, it can be found on most major platforms.
Are Lily Bulbs Healthy?
Lily bulbs have a high content of vitamins and minerals which makes it beneficial for our health. Certain types of lily bulbs are edible and rich in starches. Consuming lily bulb has a cooling effect for the lungs which is commonly used to treat dry cough or sore throat. It has natural soothing and healing properties that target the respiratory system.
Besides, lily bulbs are of great use in cases of irritability and low-grade anxiety. In addition to that, the dried lily bulb is used as an herb to promote restful sleep and calm the spirit. The sweetness of lily bulbs helps to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. Other health benefits of lily bulbs include improving one’s concentration, treating low-grade fever and alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
It is advisable to use dried lily bulbs in moderation and to consult with a physician beforehand.
Fresh and dried lily bulbs can be used in sweet dessert and savory soups in Chinese cuisines. It can be easily found in Asian markets. Fresh lily bulbs have crunchy texture while dried lily bulbs can be chewy after being cooked. Fresh lily bulbs used mainly in stir-fries, while dried lily bulbs are used in soups and as herbs. It is important to wash the fresh lily bulbs under running water to remove the dirt. Lily bulbs are great to use during autumn season to help moisten the lungs. It has many health benefits which are great for our immune system.