No really, it is better than it sounds. Don’t be so stodgy, food names can be fun. This is a great little dish that goes really well with white rice.
韭菜 and 韭菜花 Jiu Cai and Jiu Cai Hua the first often referring to the leaves, and the latter referring to the flower stalks with a bud are of the same plant, generally referred to as garlic chives or Chinese chives in the English speaking world. If they are referred to at all, for unfortunately they don’t seem to be well known in the west. Garlic chives have a mild garlic flavor, as one might assume from the name, indispensable to a good number of Asian dishes.
蒼蠅頭(cang ying tou) Flies Heads is one of those dishes, it makes use of Jiu Cai Hua, the flower stalk of the garlic chive. The Jiu Cai Hua mixed with ground pork, chilies, and fermented black beans 黑豆豉 (hei dou chi) makes for a really, well, a sort of complex and enjoyable combination of flavors. The mild garlicy flavor of the veg, slightly heat from the peppers, the very unique flavor of the fermented black beans, aromatic, salty, spicy…hard to describe, but not hard to love. It is said it was invented by a Taiwanese chef trying to use up odds and ends in a Sichuan style dish. If true, I guess that would make it Taiwanese style Sichuan fusion food.?.
True or not it is still a great quick (about 10-15 minutes) dish, good for a side, a light meal, or a savory snack.
- 6 oz. ground pork
- 7 oz. garlic chives flower stocks 韭菜花, cut into very small pieces
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small red chili pepper, chopped
- 3 T. fermented black beans 黑豆豉
- 2 T. oil for frying
- 1/2 T. of hot bean paste 辣豆瓣醬
- 1/4 t. of salt
- 1 t. sesame oil 香油
- 1 t. sugar
- Add the 2 T of oil to a hot wok. Add the ground pork and stir fry until just done.
- Add the garlic, chili pepper, fermented black beans, and hot bean paste then stir fry until fragrant.
- Add the chopped garlic chive flower stalks, salt, and sugar continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sesame oil, toss, and serve with rice.