Favorite Recipes

There are thousands of delicious ways to prepare fresh produce from the garden. Here, we feature some of gardener’s favorites, as well as a few original creations that are the perfect way to use some of the vegetables that grow especially well in our region.

If you have your own favorite recipes to share, please send them to avcg@uci.edu and include the phrase WEBSITE RECIPES in the subject line.


Recipe provided by: Gardener Cordelia Martinez

Main ingredients:
Tomatoes, 2 lbs., cored
Onion, small, peeled
Garlic, 2 cloves, peeled
Cucumber, 2 small or 1 large

Olive oil, 1/4 cup
Sherry vinegar, 1/4 cup
Salt, 1-2 tsp.


  1. Mix all the ingredients, and run through a food mill or press through a sieve.
  2. Add oil and vinegar. Salt to taste.
  3. Add ice water to make soup a consistency like cream.
  4. Chill.
  5. Serve cold.

Asian Slaw (mildly spicy)

Recipe provided by: Gardener Yue Yu
Main ingredients:
Napa cabbage, thinly sliced, 4 cups,
(Optional addition: Baby radish, Julienned; Baby bok choi, thinly sliced)
Korean red chili paste, 2 tbsp,
Sugar, 1 tbsp,
Lemon Juice (or White rice vinegar – I use Kikkoman Brand), 2 tbsp.
Sesame oil, 2 tbsp.
Green onion, chopped, 1/4 to 1/3 cups.
Cilantro, chopped, 1/4 to 1/3 cups.
Ginger, finely minced, 1 to 2 tsp.
  1. Mix all the main ingredients, sprinkle salt (about 1/2 to 1 tsp ) on top and mix well. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. Drain out liquid from the vegetables before add seasonings.
  2. While the vegetables are being marinated, Use a small bowl, mix the Korean red chili paste with sugar and lemon juice. If the texture is too thick and the chili paste does not mix well with lemon juice, add a bit liquid from the vegetables to thin it out. Then mix in minced ginger and sesame oil with Korean chili paste mixture.
  3. Before mix in the sauce, check if vegetables are well drained. They should shrink to 1/2 of the original size. Please taste the vegetables, make sure they are not too salty. If the end up being saltier than desired, let it drain longer, or mix in 1/4 cup of water and let it drain again.
  4. Mix in the sauce mixture, green onion and cilantro. Add salt it needed.

Chinese Bean Stew:

Recipe provided by: Gardener Yue Yu
Main ingredients:
Beans – 1 pound, trimmed and snapped into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.
(I think the type I used is called “Hyacinth Bean” but this receipe should work with most of the tougher types. I don’t recommend softer types like snow peas, because stewing them will make them too mushy)
Garlic, 2 to 3 cloves, minced
Sugar, 1 tbsp,
Soy sauce, (I use Lee Kum Kee, half dark half light, see note below), 3 tbsp
Oil (non-fragrance oil such as grape seed oil or canola oil), 3 tbsp
Green onion, chopped, 1/4 cups.
Ginger, minced, 1 to 2 tsp.
Star Anise, 1-2 “star”
Water, 1 cup.
Salt only if needed (Soy sauce could be enough)
  1. Heat up a wok with medium heat, add oil. Then add star anise as the oil is heated up so it releases it’s fragrance to the oil.
  2. Put you hand 10 inch above the pan, once you feel the heat, stir in green onion, ginger and half of the garlic. Stir fry for about 20 seconds.
  3. Add beans. Stir fry until the skin is a bit wrinkled. About 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add sugar, stir fry well. If using half dark soy sauce and half light soy sauce, add only the the dark soy sauce now. If only using one type of soy sauce, add all now.
  5. Add 1 cup of water. close the lid and let it stew. Check every 3 minutes to make sure there are still some liquid left in the wok. (Add the light soy sauce before the liquid is almost gone)
  6. When the the liquid is almost evaporated, taste if the beans is soft enough. Add more water and stew longer if needed. Added salt if needed.
  7. *** note: Dark vs light soy sauce *** Quick take away: Use light soy sauce in salad, in cold dishes, or right before the food is finished cooking. Use dark soy sauce for stew dishes. Generally added much earlier than light soy sauce. http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesefoodglossary1/g/dark-soy-sauce.htm