Delicious 'superfood' veggie is sprouting again....
My favorite 'superfood' spring veggie is sprouting again ! Last week made the first Chinese toon omelet this year.
香椿 xiāngchūn, usually called Chinese toon in English) are the spring buds from the Chinese Toon trees (Toona sinensis, also called Chinese Mahogany tree). The 'superfood' sprouts are usually only available from end of March to beginning of April (around Qingming Festival).
Chinese toon sprouts are known for its special nutty, slightly bitter flavor with hints of onion, popular in dishes all over China such as omelets, battered deep fried, salads, tofu or dumplings.
The sprouts include a complete pallet of of vitamins, minerals and health nutrients. A study in 2020 detected the presence of toonasinenoid consituents, new types of limonoids with neuroprotective health properties.
The fruits, bark, leaves and roots of the tree have been used in tradtional Chinese Medicine since ancient times. Stems and leaves for dysentery and itchiness, roots as corrective, bark as astringent and depurative, and fruit as astringent for eye infections.
The Chinese Mahogany tree is also regularly used as a metaphor in Chinese literature and language. The mature tree represents the male stronghold, father or eldest male in a family. For expressing best wishes to an elderly couple, you can express : 椿萱并茂 (chūn xuān bìngmào). Loosely translated to “may your Mahogany Tree and Daylily be happy and strong”.