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Foods that Boost the Immune System – Fatsia shoot / Water celery / Alpine leek
Apr 6, 2020

Immunity helps to maintain a healthy body by recognizing and removing harmful substances and abnormally deformed cells. The National Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Rural Development Administration has selected 10 foods that are good for immunity as the interest on health has recently increased due to COVID-19. We will delve into the ingredients and efficacies of those foods and introduce relevant recipes.

Fatsia Shoot

Fatsia shoots, eaten as wild greens due to their unique scent, are rich in vitamins A, B, and C for recovering one’s strength and boosting the immune system. Also, its saponin and choline components prevent vascular disorders, such as arteriosclerosis and myocardial infarction, and are effective for vitality enhancement.

It is good for preventing diabetes as it has effects of strengthening blood sugar and lowering blood lipids. Its rich calcium component helps with bone health as well.

Fatsia Shoot Beef Roll-ups

Ingredients: 10 fatsia shoots, 250g shabu-shabu beef, 1/2 Tbsp salt, 2 Tbsp cooking oil

Sauce: 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp chopped green onion, 1 tsp sesame oil

<Recipe>

① Use a kitchen towel to remove the excess liquid from the beef and marinate it in the sauce for 10 minutes.

② Parboil the trimmed fatsia shoots in salt water for 20 seconds. Put the fatsia shoots in from the stem.

③ Cool the parboiled fatsia shoots. Place the fatsia shoots on beef and wrap then tightly.

④ Put cooking oil on the heated pan and grill the fatsia shoot beef roll-ups by rolling them around to evenly grill them.

Fatsia Shoot Cold Soup

Ingredients: 6 fatsia shoots, 10 anchovies for broth, 1 sheet of kelp

Sauce: 1 tsp soy sauce for the broth, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp chopped green onion, 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp salt

<Recipe>

① Put the anchovies and kelp in 300g water and boil. Let it cool until cold.

② Remove the roots of the fatsia shoots. Parboil the trimmed fatsia shoots in salt water for 20 seconds. Put the fatsia shoots in from their thick stems.

③ Rinse the parboiled fatsia shoots and remove water. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

④ Season the fatsia shoots with soy sauce for soup making, sesame oil, chopped green onion, and sesame seeds.

⑤ Pour the broth and add salt for additional seasoning.

Water Celery

Water celery, famous for its unique aroma and soft texture, contains a lot of potassium, which helps when releasing harmful components, such as heavy metal and sodium.

It is an alkaline food, rich in vitamins and minerals, and is effective for neutralizing the acidified constitution from a high-fat diet. It also is effective for preventing and treating lifestyle-related diseases, such as menstrual disorders, hepatocirrhosis, and high blood pressure, and it has a strong immunity boosting effect by enhancing the activity of natural killer cells.

Steamed Water Celery and Perilla Seeds

Ingredients: 100g bean sprouts, 90g water celery, 40g daikon, 2 dried shitake mushrooms, 1 sheet of dried kelp, 35g carrot, 1/2 enoki mushroom

Sauce: 2 Tbsp perilla seed powder, 2 Tbsp soy sauce for the broth, a sprinkle of black sesame seeds

<Recipe>

① Simmer the dried kelp and dried shitake mushrooms in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes and remove.

② Cut the water celery into 5cm lengths, the daikon and carrots into bite-sized pieces, and trim the bean sprouts.

③ Remove the lower part of the enoki mushroom and separate it into pieces. Remove the lower parts of the shitake mushrooms and slice them.

④ Put daikon and soy sauce for soup-making into the broth from step 1 and boil it for 3 minutes over medium heat.

⑤ Add bean sprouts, water celery, and perilla seed powder and boil for 2 minutes. Add starch water to thicken the broth.

⑥ Add enoki mushrooms and black sesame seeds to finish.

Water Celery Rice Bowl

Ingredients: 280g beef brisket, 80g water celery, 2 bowls of brown rice, 1/3 onion, 2 egg yolks, 1 red chili pepper, 1 Tbsp refined rice wine, 2 tsp starch

Sauce: 4 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp plum syrup, 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp crushed garlic, a sprinkle of ground pepper

<Recipe>

① Wash the water celery cleanly and cut it into 5cm lengths. Chop onions into small pieces and slice the red chili pepper.

② Stir-fry beef brisket and refined rice wine for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat in a pan.

③ Add water celery to the pan and continue stir-frying for 1 minute.

④ Add chopped onions to the sauce.

⑤ Place rice, stir-fried ingredients, and egg yolks in that order in a bowl and add the sauce.

Alpine Leek

Alpine leek is the only wild green with a garlic aroma. It goes well with meat when pickled. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, has diuretic and detoxifying effects, is good for arteriosclerosis, and improves digestion. Its vitamin A increases cold resistance and protects the respiratory system and vision. It also promotes the antibacterial effects of food poisoning bacteria and absorption of vitamin B in human bodies. It is rich in vitamin E as well for preventing cell aging.

Alpine Leek Mille-Feuille Nabe

Ingredients: 60 sheets of alpine leek leaves, 300g shabu-shabu beef, 1 Chinese cabbage, mung bean sprouts, 1 cup of oyster mushroom

Ingredients for broth: 1/3 daikon, 1/2 large green onion, 1 sheet of kelp, 8 cups of water

Sauce: 3 Tbsp soy sauce for soup making, 2 Tbsp crushed garlic, 1/2 Tbsp salt

<Recipe>

① Make broth with the broth ingredients and add crushed garlic, soy sauce for soup-making, and salt for seasoning.

② Slice daikon used for the broth and place them with green bean sprouts and oyster mushrooms in a pot evenly on the bottom.

③ Place Chinese cabbage, alpine leek leaves, and beef in that order in layers and cut.

④ Place ingredients from step 3 in the pot starting from the edge.

⑤ Add broth to step 4 and boil.

Alpine Leek Rice Balls

Ingredients: 20 sheets of alpine leek leaf, 600g bulgogi, 2 bowls of rice, 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Bulgogi sauce: 4 Tbsp crushed garlic, 3 Tbsp sesame oil, 4 Tbsp brown sugar, 5 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ground pepper

Ssamjang sauce: 2 Tbsp ssamjang, 1/2 Tbsp crushed garlic, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds

<Recipe>

① Cut bulgogi into 6cm lengths and marinate them in bulgogi sauce for over 30 minutes. Store in a refrigerator.

② Grill bulgogi in a pan over medium heat and chop.

③ Add bulgogi, rice, and sesame oil into a bowl and mix. Form into bite-sized balls.

④ Parboil alpine leek leaves for 30 seconds.

⑤ Place rice balls on alpine leek leaves to finish.

⑥ Add ssamjang sauce to the result of step 5 to garnish.

Materials provided by the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences