Vegetarian Delights of NYC–Sauteed Squash and Bamboo Pith at East Harbor


Sunset Park is thriving with new Hong Kong-style Cantonese restaurants, many of amazing size and sophistication. And, yes, the fish are alive in the tanks.

At newcomer East Harbor, some of the more interesting dishes fall in the Vegetable category, though beware strict vegetarians that some recipes may deploy a light chicken or seafood broth.

One of the more interest dishes encountered on a first visit to the sprawling restaurant complex was sauteed squash with bamboo pith, a wonderfully corn-starchy and richly flavored stew. But wait a minute! What are those things floating in the salty broth like jellyfish? They are not, as one might expect, the actual pith of mature bamboo, but a fungus that frequents bamboo groves. The botanical name is Phallus indusiatus, and the common English name, long neck stinkhorn or veiled lady (you can’t make this sort of thing up). The squash is rather neutral tasting, with a density like cucumber, and the veiled lady itself like chewing on bandage gauze. Not bad, and utterly filling. 714-726 65th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 718-765-0098

Veiled lady in Sunset Park (click to wring out)