I’ve been ill for a few days. It’s the boring old common cold – a nuisance really. As a consequence, I’ve had a huge craving for vegetables, crisp and fresh, and full of vitamins, and spices to give me a fix of energy. My body was yearning for something Indian or Chinese, but one look into my fridge decided the match: it was to be Chinese. A spicy, nutritious, aromatic and healing vegetable stir fry. 5-spice powder gave it a bit of warmth, and I like a sour tang in my stir-fries, so some rice vinegar took care of that! I added loads of garlic (I have a cold, people!), and sprinkled some sushi ginger on top – Delicious!
Chinese-style Vegetable Stir-fry with Sushi Ginger
SOURCE: My own recipe
PREPARATION TIME: 5 min
COOKING TIME: 5 – 10 min
SERVES: 1 – 2
3 cloves of garlic
2 red chilies (small & spicy!)
1/2 large carrot, cut into sticks
a handful of broccoli florets
broccoli stem cut into sticks
3 chestnut mushrooms
a handful of bean sprouts
a few slices of sushi ginger
1/2 mug basmati rice
oyster sauce (or replace with a vegetarian variety)
1 tsp ketchup manis (Sweet Indonesian soy sauce – can be substituted with soy sauce and sugar)
2 tsp rice vinegar
a generous dash of 5-spice powder
dark soy sauce
a few drops of Thai fish sauce (optional)
1. Prepare all the ingredients. This is essential, because everything cooks really quickly and you don’t have time to chop the veg as you go. Put the rice to cook. When it boils, start preparing the stir fry.
2. Heat some groundnut oil in the wok. Add chilies and garlic and fry for a few minutes (add fresh ginger if you have some now, too – I didn’t have any).
3. Add carrots and broccoli. Fry for a few minutes and add mushrooms. Then add broccoli stem. (I learnt this trick off Barbara: peeled broccoli stem has a wonderful tender structure and mild flavour, and is great in stir-fries. Of course, the choice of vegetables really depends on the content of your freezer!🙂) The vegetables should soften slightly, but not too much – they should still be quite crisp.
4. Add the sauce and cook through. Serve with basmati, and sprinkle with sushi ginger.
Inhale deeply. It sure smells delicious! And it is delicious.
Don’t worry if you don’t have ketchup manis – just use soy sauce and add a bit of sugar.
You’ll notice I don’t add salt to stir-fries. This is because soy sauce and oyster sauce add enough saltiness to the dish.
As for the amounts – use your instincts and your preferences.