This is a variation of one of my favourite childhood meals my mum used to make – her “Chinese”. After going to a Chinese wedding a few years back, I realized our idea of Chinese food has very little to do with the real thing. 10 courses later, I left the wedding hungry and disillusioned – obviously what Chinese restaurants serve in the Western world is not Chinese food, but what Westerners think Chinese food is. Same here – so don’t expect what I didn’t eat at the wedding (Jellyfish, Shark Fin soup (I would NEVER!), tentacles from some unidentified seamonster, insects and 6 other courses that sometimes make their way into my nightmares). I don’t mean to offend anyone who likes the “real” Chinese food, but here a toned down version. Sorry also if I just ruined your appetite.
For 4 people:
- 1lb (300 g meat (I use either chicken breast or beef and slice them, you could do Tofu as well)
- Soy sauce
- Ginger, piece the size of your thumb, peeled and grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 cup/250ml Sherry or Broth or a combination of the two
- Vegetables : carrots, bok choy, peppers, mungo sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach or whatever else your heart desires or your fridge has in it.
- Rice (perfume, jasmine, or brown) or Asian noodles
Marinate the meat or tofu 1 h in soy sauce, sesame seed oil, ginger and garlic. See image for how the meat should be sliced.
If you are going with rice, cook according to package (usually 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water). Turn off heat about half way through, put a lid on pot, and let it sit. With the right ratio of water and rice, it should turn out perfect and be ready when your stir fry is. Plus you save some electricity. Win-win. If you have a rice cooker, just let it do its thing.
Wash and chop vegetables. Carrots into small sticks (image). No matter what vegetables you use, you should have about 2-3 cups (500-750 g) vegetables in total.
If you use noodles instead of rice, bring 1l of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package now.
Heat peanut oil in Wok or large frying pan. Add vegetables according to length it takes to cook them: carrots first, then broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, bok choy… Sprouts and spinach last.
Stir cornstarch into sherry or broth in a glass, set aside.
Fry meat in separate pan – shortly, but all the way through. Set aside.
Add more ginger and garlic to the vegetable mix, add soy sauce and if you like, the meat marinade. Stir well, add sherry or broth and meat as well as the noodles if you chose this option. Heat up, taste. Add water if too salty or more soy sauce if not enough. Serve with rice if you didn’t add noodles. What’s your favourite combination?