Sunday, 5 July 2015

Salt & Pepper Stir Fried Vegetables

I used to get Chinese from a great takeaway in London (no, I can't remember the name, and it may not even be there any more -- this was over a decade ago). Everything was good, but my favourite dish was the salt and pepper tofu: crispy, dry-fried tofu pieces tossed in spicy seasoning that popped on the tongue.

To be honest, the "salt and pepper" name has always confused me a little. I'm sure there is salt and pepper in there, but that's true of many dishes. The most noticable flavourings in this one are chilli (lots of lovely chilli) and garlic.

Where we live now, our local takeaway offers salt and pepper calamari (which my husband loves), but nothing veggie with the same flavour profile, so I had to figure out how to do it myself. I was thinking of recreating the original tofu dish, but in the end I decided to go for a healthier option and use the same flavours in vegetable stir fry.

Salt & pepper stir fry

Salt & Pepper Stir Fried Vegetables
Serves 4

200g tenderstem broccoli
2 red bell peppers
400g shitake mushrooms
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
1 green chilli
1tbsp sunflower oil
1tsp salt
1tsp sugar
1tsp black pepper
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp Chinese spice mix*
4 scallions

  1. Cut the broccoli into large florets; chop the pepper into bite-sized pieces; trim and halve the mushrooms.
  2. Cut the onion into thick slices and dice the garlic.
  3. Remove the seeds from the chillis and discard, before chopping the flesh.
  4. Combine the salt, sugar, black pepper, ginger, and Chinese spices in a small bowl.
  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and begin to stir fry the broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, and onion. Add the garlic after a couple of minutes of cooking.
  6. Add the mixed spices and chilli, and toss to combine all the ingredients.
  7. Continue to fry until the vegetables have softened.
  8. Chop the scallions and toss through before serving.

* I used the Chinese blend from Spice Kitchen which is made from liquorice, star anise, cassia, szechuan peppers, black cardamon, orange peel, and cloves.


Rachel said...

Apart from the chilli, it sounds good - but then that is the advantage of making it yourself, isn't it! You can add or remove ingredients to suit your taste...

Elizabeth Braun said...

The 'pepper' part is chilli pepper and all Chinese dishes are well salted!! ;) Can't you ask your local take-away to do you a veggie version? Most places are happy to adapt to customer tastes, where possible.

Rami @ Tasteaholics said...

Nice and simple lunch/dinner. I always forget about the option of stir frying haha! Thanks and pinned

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