Thursday, 4 March 2010

Chinese Assorted Vegetables

One of my favorite dishes when I get Chinese is the seriously simple Assorted (or sometimes called Mixed) Vegetables. It's exactly what it sounds like - a mix of different veggies. However, the vegetables are coated in a somewhat opaque mildly flavored sauce, and I have always wondered how it was made. 

Recently I had a breakthrough and pretty much replicated this dish and am very excited because now I can make it at home, and bonus, it's very easy! Of course you can use practically any vegetable that you like. The ones I've suggested are the ones that I usually get at a restaurant.

Chinese Assorted Vegetables
serves 1-2 (depending on your appetite!)

veggie ideas
1 small head pak choi - chopped into bitesized pieces
1 large handful sugar snap peas and/or mangetout - sliced on the bias
several button mushrooms - quartered
several baby corn cobs - sliced in half lengthways

1/2 pepper - sliced into thin strips
1 clove garlic - thinly sliced
small handful bamboo shoots
small handful waterchestnuts
small handful beansprouts

3-4 spring onions - sliced into inch pieces

for the sauce 

1 tablespoon corn flour
2-3 tablespoons water
1/4 pint vegetable stock*
2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon flavorless oil
(ie. sunflower, groundnut)

In a bowl large enough to fit all of the vegetables, mix together the corn flour and water. The mixture should be white but not thick. Coat vegetables in the corn flour mixture. Heat wok or frying pan til smoking then add 1 tablespoon oil. Add veggies and fry for 2 minutes. Add half of the vegetable stock and mix through. You may need to add more stock to make the sauce thicker. Once the sauce is the consistency you like add the soy sauce to taste and serve with rice.

If you wanted to make this for someone who eats meat you could just fry up some sliced chicken breast in a separate pan and mix it in with their portion of veg at the end - then I'm pretty sure you've got the Chinese restaurant style 'Chicken and vegetables'.

*I haven't tried to make this using water instead of stock, but I bet it would work just as well, but you may need more soy sauce to replace the flavor lost from the stock.

NB: When I got around to taking pictures of this dish I didn't have some of the veggies on hand - so in the picture are the ingredients listed above minus the bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and water chestnuts but plus a few finger chillies.

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