Lilly bulb is a root vegetable that is commonly used in Chinese medicine and is thought to have a long list of healthy properties. They are easily grown in all climates so when you can get your hands on this sweet delicate flower by all means do so. Some of the lilly bulbs can be bitter but the ones I bought where sweet and crunchy. In Chinese cooking it can be used in stir fry's or grated into a soup for thickening, and raw. I noticed when it was raw it had a sweetness to it that was really refreshing. When it's cooked it becomes a lot more starchy. The lily bulbs is a great product, great vehicle, for a vegetarian meal with it's sweet and crunchy attributes. Normally you can find lilly bulbs dried, but when you can get fresh ones by all means buy them. I found these in a local japanese market in L.A. a few weeks ago One of the things that you have to do first when preparing this lilly bulb, is you have to separate the petals and wash them thoroughly because there's a lot of dirt in between the petals (Mine also had saw dust as well to keep them fresh). simply cut the core out of the bottom and then separate the petals and place in cold water, rinse, and dry. Because I had never used this product before I ended up sous vide one bulb and keep the other one raw. Eloise absolutely loved this dish and couldn't get enough of it. I pared this lilly bulb with black garlic puree, jalapeno and cilantro creme friache, enoki mushrooms, and charred green onions. Here's the recipe I hope you enjoy!
2 lily bulbs cored, washed, and cleaned
1 bulb of black garlic peeled and puréed
1 bunch of you enoki persimmon mushrooms
1 bunch of green scallion or spring onions charred
For the sauce
1 bunch of cilantro
1 cup of whipped creme friache
Salt to taste
Sous vide (2 kaffir lime leaves, 2 tbsp of butter, )
Take the petals from one lilly bulb and place in a cryovac bag with kaffir lime leaves, and butter. Seal up and place in an water bath set at 140 degrees for 30 minutes. Take out and let it come to room temperature.
For the creme friache simple take 1/4 creme friache, jalapeno, and cilantro and place in a blender. Puree until smooth and then strain into the remaining 3/4 whipped creme friache. Season with salt and set aside.
For the black garlic puree simple take a fork and mash all of the black garlic cloves together to make a smooth paste.
Simply take half of the sous vide petals and half of the raw petals and place in your serving bowl. Then place a little jalapeno creme friache in each petal along with a tiny bit of black garlic puree. Add the enoki mushrooms, charred onions, cilantro flowers, and sprinkle it all with japanese pepper (Togarashi). Serve and enjoy!