Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pink Ginger Torch Flower

Was at the market this morning after my jog at the park and met a sweet old lady selling pineapples, turnips and pink ginger buds, ingredients to make a good Chinese rojak salad. She was a spritely 80 year old who didn't like being cooped in the house all day. So she set up a little make shift stall selling what the family plot in Johore Bahru, Malaysia grew. She even had a maid at her side to make sure she was alright.

And she had a bucket too of the most lovely pink waxy flowers. Thought they were some form of heliconias but actually, they were pink ginger torch flowers, full bloom versions of the pink ginger buds. I am surprised that I've not come across it before in all its full glory. It could be because most of them have been nipped in the bud before they actually bloom.

Slivers or fine cuts of pink ginger buds give many Asian dishes added flavour and food such as Penang laksa and Chinese rojak would not have its special aroma without them. It gives dishes a tangy , citrus taste. They are best used fresh as high heat destroys their flavour.

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