This is a very, very unscientific and a made-up-on-the-spot recipe that resulted in a meal both nutritious and delicious. It was unintentionally vegetarian; that’s just reflective of what was in my fridge and pantry at the time.
[For the purists’ sake: I know this is not a stirfry in the traditional sense, however some elements are stirred while others are fried and it all comes together with a stirfry-like taste in the end.]
Recipe #70: Layered vegetarian stirfry. Serves 2.
You will need:
► 1 cake of crispy (fried) egg noodles, broken into manageable pieces
► 5 snow peas, trimmed at both ends and halved lengthways
► 10 spiced baby carrots [see Recipe #71, below]
► 1 handful mung bean sprouts
► 2 spring onions, sliced finely on the diagonal
► olive oil
► 5 small Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced in half
► 1 tsp butter
► 1 small handful of coriander leaves
► 1 tsp sesame oil
► 2 tbsp olive oil
► 1 large clove garlic
► 1 large red chilli, finely sliced
► several scrapings of ginger [across a grater or microplane]
► 1 coriander root
► two grates of nutmeg
► a couple of splashes of dark soy sauce [I did warn you this was unscientific!]
► a good splash of soy [Kikkoman]
► ~2 tbsp mirin [this is rice wine vinegar]
► a good splash of hoisin sauce
► the juice of 1/2 a lime
► 1 heaped tsp palm sugar [or brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar]
► ¾ tsp garam masala
|Recipe #71: Spiced baby carrots.
You will need:
Begin by trimming the carrots; cut off the wispy tails and trim the leaves, leaving about 0.5cm green at the top of the carrot. Wash the carrots well. Fill a small saucepan with cold water to ~¼ full in preparation for the carrots. Scrape the skin from each carrot with a paring knife, then place in the saucepan > it is important to put the carrots straight into cold water to prevent them from turning brown.
Ensure there is sufficient water in the saucepan to just cover the carrots then place the saucepan on a medium-hot hotplate. Add the other ingredients. Bring the carrots to the boil and simmer for around 5 minutes, until the carrots are a brilliant orange and soft without being mushy.
While the carrots are cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Start by dribbling the sesame and olive oils into a small pan. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and toss well. Place the pan onto a medium-hot hotplate. Once the oil starts to sizzle, add the coriander root, nutmeg and dark soy; once this begins to reduce, add the soy, mirin, lime juice, palm sugar and garam masala. Allow to bubble and reduce the blackish sauce for a few minutes, giving the pan a swirl every so often.
For the snow peas, steam the snow peas by placing them in a bowl and pouring over some boiling water. Leave for 1-2 minutes, until the snow peas are bright green, then strain the water from the snow peas.
To cook the spring onions, heat a little olive oil in a small frying pan. When the oil ripples, it is hot enough to add the spring onions with a pinch of salt. Toss the spring onions in the oil for around 30 seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside on a separate plate.
For the mushrooms, place the butter in a small frying pan (you can use the same one as you used for the spring onions). When the butter starts to bubble, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Toss the mushrooms until they are well coated, then cook for a few minutes, tossing every so often.
To serve, begin by placing a few crispy noodles at the bottom of the bowls you intend on serving the stirfry in. Layer over a few bean sprouts and carrots, then some mushrooms, snow peas, spring onions and coriander leaves. Repeat this process until all the ingredients are used, or you have reached desired portion size. Spoon driplets of sauce over the stack and you are ready to eat!
What we were drinking: Bombay Sapphire & tonic; Crowded Hour Barossa Valley Shiraz
What we were listening to: streamed grooves, courtesy of ABC Jazz
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did — and, as always, I would love to hear about your foodly experiences!
Addendum of 10 February 2010: I changed a couple of the quantities up front, which I had listed for a single serve rather than a meal for two.
Note also Steph’s comment to this post, in which she recommends the use of vegetable rather than olive oil, and the addition of sesame oil as an aromatic after cooking has ceased (instead of at the start of the cooking process). [Thank you, Steph!]