Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Little Dish of Sweet Turnip

I always thought turnip was one of the easiest vegetables to grow for a novice to begin with. Unfortunately after having my own experience at growing turnip, not that easy if you don't have enough water or not much rain at our small garden. The seeds germinate easily and grow fast.
I thought that turnip form globe root very fast almost like radish pace. But ours seems not to want forming globe root. Our turnips just do nothing but grow lush leaves. Then after long anticipation, most of the time our turnips seems to be more fond of growing long woody root rather than globe root.
So when I spy some of those turnip roots look like the size of S size chicken eggs after waiting for more than 3 months, I am most determined to harvest them quickly before it becomes woody. Is it normal for turnip to form roots after 3 months or it should be much much much earlier? This is 'snowball' variety.
The first time that I known that in this world a vegetable called "turnip" exist was when I was studying in Japan. I was teaching Malaysia language part-time at Japan and one of my student said that it is kabu season now (kabu is turnip in Japanese). So of course my students will want to know what turnip is called in Malaysia language. It made me sweat a little, after a very detailed description from my beloved students I knew that it is turnip. However, until now I still don't know whether we have any specific name for turnip in Bahasa Malaysia (does anyone know?). I tried to translate it in google translator but resulted as "orang bodoh" meaning idiot. 
Harvested those tiny turnips and I don't have any ideas to prepare it.Nigel Slater came to the rescue again with his simple ' A little Dish of sweet turnip" recipe from his book Tender.I like simple dishes because with food that comes fresh from the garden we don't have to worry about the taste that much. Just enjoy as much of its original flavour to really enjoy the food that we grow. Saying that, I have to be honest that I still avoid eating raw vegetables (Still in learning process to get used of eating raw vegetables).
I think it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare this simple dish to enjoy with roast bird which we did. Quoting Nigel " The contrast between the sweet outer shell and slightly bitter turnip is astonishing with roast game birds".
Drop tiny turnips into lightly salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or so until tender.Drain.
Melt a thick slice of butter in a shallow pan and add the turnips and a spoonful of sugar.
Cook over medium heat, shaking the pan from time to time, until the little orbs are glossy and sweet.
I decided to pop in uncooked pink radish together too. I am still avoiding raw radish. 
Not sure how the end process of the dish suppose to look like because there were no photos.
However, it was a nice dish.
Selamat Berpuasa.

17 comments:

Daphne said...

I love Japanese turnips. I sometimes call them salad turnips. I don't much like the other kind of turnip. I tend to use them in salads. Or I just slice them and use them in stirfries. Only once have I ever cooked them by themselves and then I just fried them up in butter. Very tasty.

And no three months isn't exactly normal, but then again I've found them to be ready anywhere from one month to three months. For me they don't all size up at once like radishes do. I'll get some quickly and some later on. I think they are all on their own private schedule.

shaz said...

Ha ha ha ha, orang bodoh?!! I'd like to know what it is called too. Probably lobak something, since it's considered lobak family right? Tasty sounding dish.

Orchid de dangau said...

Really delicious ;) Looks nice too. Salam Ramadhan...semoga dipermudahkan amalan di perantauan dan diberkati Allah.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

Turnips are generally better harvested small. Do you grow swede too?

Why I garden... said...

I always thought turnips grow super quick but maybe the variety you have takes longer? I was watching a TV show were they fried turnip and then used honey. Honey coated turnip. Sounded good.

Mark Willis said...

How about "lobak"? That's what most of the translators say.

cikmanggis said...

My mother in law panggil Lobak..sebutannya..Lowbakk:)...akan cuba satu hari nnt.oh ya benih bunga matahari dah di pindah ke batas:)

HangKebon said...

However, until now I still don't know whether we have any specific name for turnip in Bahasa Malaysia (does anyone know?). I tried to translate it in google translator but resulted as "orang bodoh" meaning idiot.<<<==hahaha this is so funny! kalau yg longer root mcm carrot warna putih tu org panggil lobak putih....sedap buat masak lemak tp make sure u buang/kikis kulit luar dulu, then slice it thinly...sedap! my mom selalu buat campur with carrot...yg bulat2 ni tatau la pulak org panggil apa hhehehe...selamat berpuasa to u & ur family...;)

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

I have no idea what to do with turnip...I only use the leaves! :) Yours are so cute!!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

MKG dear,
Turnip is sengkuang. I love them in rojak mamak (raw) and drenched with that sweet and hot peanut sauce. Also raw in "pecal". The Chinese will stirfry lightly to be used as popiah filling. Some people call it bengkuang. Google is the "orang bodoh". purrr *giggles*

catmint said...

I don't know what's normal but i love to eat raw veg and small turnips and radishes would be delish.

lena said...

orang bodoh?? that is really so funny!! malay we call that 'sengkuang' but it looks slightly different here, could be same family different variety.

Malar said...

Orang bodoh? ahhahhaaa...really funny!
May be sengkuang...i think so...

chopinandmysaucepan said...

Cute daikon, I've never seen them so small!!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Daphne~ Thanks for sharing your experience on growing turnip. I was wondering why the root does not grow at the same time although sowed at the same time.

Shaz~Yup, I think it should be called lobak something like lobak putih. Maybe lobak bulat...hehehe...

Orchid de dangau~Terima kasih. Selamat Berpuasa to you too.

Sue~I have not grow swede yet. If I do much better with turnip next time. Then I would like to try swede and rutabaga.

Kelli~Oh turnip coated with honey sounds much more delicious than the one we made with butter and sugar. Thanks for sharing.

Mark~Daikon is 'lobak putih' (putih~ white). I think lobak suits well with turnip or maybe 'lobak bulat'(bulat-round) or 'lobak telur'(telur-egg).

Cikmanggis~Macam lobak putih tapi turnip ni cepat pahit sikit.

Hangkebon~Saya tak pernah jumpa lagi turnip ni kat Msia. Tapi turnip ni suka suhu 20-25Celcius. Tak berapa tahan panas banding dengan lobak putih.

Mrs Bok~What do you do with the leaves? I tried to stir-fry it but it was a bit bitter.

Cat-from-Sydney~Sengkuang is jicama or yam bean which belongs to the legume family. Adik-beradik kepada keluarga kacang or peas.Turnip is more closely related to radish which both belong to the brassica family which includes broccoli and cabbage.

Catmint~ Raw vegetables are good since it contain more nutrient and you don't lose them. I need to be more adventerous:).

Lena, Malar~It is more closely related to 'lobak putih'. The top leaves can be eaten too. Maybe we can call it "lobak bulat"...hehehe...

Chopinandmysaucepan~ It does look like a daikon. yet it is turnip. Japanese like to make pickles with this vegetables.

Anonymous said...

is it this turnip available in malaysia??

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Anonymous~ Sorry I am not sure whether turnip are available in the market in Malaysia. I have never come across of it before. Although it maybe suitable to be planted in Kundasang or Cameron Highland.