Sunchoke Shiitake Stir-Fry
Photo: Ajna Jai / Contributor
Sunchoke — also known as Jerusalem artichoke, sun root or earth apple — is an interesting tuber. It looks like ginger but tastes nothing like it; it is not from the city of Jerusalem; nor is it in the artichoke family. It’s actually native to North America and part of the sunflower family of plants. It can withstand icy temperatures and was originally cultivated by indigenous tribes. In the 16th century, French explorers who thought the flavor of the tuber bore some resemblance to artichokes took them back to Europe and cultivated them, where they are still very popular and used for soups or salads.
In full season now in Texas, sunchokes are rich in vitamin C, potassium and a complex carbohydrate called inulin, considered good for gut health. Since they can be eaten raw, I found one of the best ways to retain their delicious crunch is to stir-fry them paired with earthy shiitake mushrooms and leeks.