Friday, 15 May 2009

(Garlic+Spring onions)+(Soy sauce+Sesame oil) = A Magic Formula for Stir-Frying Vegetables

Although it's been quite a while since I studied Mathematics (and even then was not, to be honest, ever any good at it), nonetheless I've recently been feeling like a modern-day Archimedes. Why, you ask? Because I've discovered a culinary formula equal in brilliance to e=mc2!

OK, so maybe that's exaggerating it a little, but really, this is quite a discovery.

First, take a vegetable; any plain, not very flavorsome vegetable – courgette perhaps, or better still, bamboo – you know, the kind of vegetable that lies around for ages after you've bought it, the kind of vegetable you see and think “Ooo, that'll be nice”, and now you're wondering what to do with it. Take said vegetable, and cut into thinish slivers (about half a cm thick).

Now, finely chop perhaps 3 cloves of garlic, and cut up a few spring onions into 5cm long chunks.

Next, the cooking part. Heat up a couple of tablespoons of vegetable/groundnut/canola oil in your wok, add the garlic, and almost immediately afterwards add the vegetable slices. Stir-fry on a high heat until pretty much almost cooked, leaving it for a minute or so every now and then so the veggies get nicely golden. Add the spring onions, and a minute or so later add 1-2 tablespoon of soy sauce. Fry the whole lot for another 30 seconds, season with salt, turn off the heat, add about half a tablespoon of sesame oil and.......

TAA DAA! A rather boring, somewhat tasteless vegetable is transformed into a delicious, mouthwatering piece of edible art. Served with freshly steamed white rice this dish is a brilliant quick, healthy and ridiculously easy dinner for one; or, of course, it can be served alongside other dishes as part of a larger meal. Feel free to improvise; my current favourite is bamboo shoots (竹笋 zhu2sun3), and also green pepper slices, but as long as you stick to the magic formula (garlic+spring onions)+(soy sauce+sesame oil) you really can't go wrong. Bon appetite!

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