A lot of Chinese food can be very rich and filling- think of duck in hoi sin sauce or sticky barbeque flavoured spare ribs. However you can get that authentic Chinese stir fried flavour into less rich foods, and even into vegetables which gives you a delicious and less unhealthy meal.
This recipe makes a deliciously flavoured vegetarian stir fry, which can be eaten by itself or as a base for other Chinese dishes. It uses bean sprouts, carrots and spring onions along with lots of traditional seasonings to give you a great tasting snack or meal.
Ingredients for the meal: (serves four people)
150 g of bean sprouts
2 or 3 spring onions
1 large carrot
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (olive, peanut or palm oil will also work just fine)
Half a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
1 to 1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
A couple of drops of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
Preparing the vegetables
First of all you need to clean all of the vegetables. Peel the carrot and give it a rinse along with the spring onions. Put all of the bean sprouts in a colander, give them a wash in cold water and then allow them to drain, or alternatively dry them in a salad dryer.
The carrot needs to be cut into matchstick sized strips. The quickest way to do this is to use a mandoline, as they normally have an option to allow you to cut match stick shapes out of vegetables. Alternatively cut the carrot at 45 degrees in diagonal slices around half a centimetre thick, and then put a few on top of each other and cut into match sticks. Be very carefully when using a matchstick and make sure you are using a chopping board. After you have done this you need to lightly boil the carrot sticks in water for a minute.
Cut the spring onions in two, separating the leafy and the lower, white part. Cut the lower part into bite size chunks, and chop the leaves up as well, keeping the two separate. Also finely chop half a teaspoon of garlic.
Put a wok on medium heat and once it has heated up, pour in the oil, swirling it around so that the inner surface of the wok is coated in oil. Once the wok is really hot, stir fry the spring onion leaves and the garlic for a minute. Then add the carrot match sticks, the bean sprouts and the white part of the spring onion and stir fry for a further minute.
To add flavouring, pour in the soy and oyster sauce and give it a really good stir so that the flavours are distributed evenly throughout the whole dish. After doing this, turn off the heat and add a couple of drops of sesame oil, give it a last good stir and your vegetable stir fry is ready to serve.
Author with keen culinary interests, creator of a website dedicated to chicken stir fry.