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3 easy veggie stir fries

3 easy veggie stir fries

Want to add more veggies to your winter comfort-food diet? You can’t beat a stir-fry for a quick and healthy dinner, says wok queen Ching-He Huang.

Chinese wok-fried spicy spring onion salsa verde with kale and egg noodles

In Chinese cuisine there’s a ginger and spring onion sauce that’s great for veggie chow mein – it’s simple and just divine.

Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 2

120g curly kale, sliced
200g dried egg noodles
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
Pinch of sea salt flakes
Knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and neatly sliced at an angle
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
2 spring onions, neatly chopped
50ml cold vegetable stock
1 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce

1 Pour 1 litre cold water into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the kale and blanch for 30 seconds, then drain and set aside. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then run them under the cold tap, drain and drizzle with the toasted sesame oil.

2 Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking and add the rapeseed oil. Add the salt and let it dissolve in the hot oil, then add the ginger, fresh chilli, dried chilli and spring onions in quick succession to explode their flavours in the wok.

3 Add the stock; stir-fry on a medium heat for 30 secs. Add the kale and cooked egg noodles and toss all the ingredients together to warm through. Season with soy sauce, give one final toss and serve.

Black Bean Buddha’s stir-fried mixed veg

This is a famous Chinese dish that is served at all important festivals throughout the year. Typically, a dish such as this would contain straw mushrooms and dried lily owners; here I’m using Chinese wood ear mushrooms for extra crunch (buy them in Chinese supermarkets and online).

Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 2

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Knob of fresh peeled ginger, grated
½ tsp fermented salted black beans, rinsed, then crushed with 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne strips
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, rinsed, dried and sliced
Small handful dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 mins, drained and sliced into 1cm strips
Small handful baby sweetcorn, sliced in half on the diagonal
1 x 225g can bamboo shoots, drained and cut into julienne strips
Small handful fresh beansprouts
2 spring onions, neatly sliced, to garnish
For the sauce:
100ml cold vegetable stock
1 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetarian mushroom sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp cornflour

1 Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small jug, then set aside. Heat a wok over a high heat and, as the wok starts to smoke, add the rapeseed oil. Add the ginger and stir-fry for a few secs; add the fermented salted black bean mixture and toss for 2 secs.

2 Add the carrot and cook for 1 min, then the shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, baby corn and bamboo shoots and stir-fry together for 1 min.

3 Add the sauce and bring to the boil. When the sauce has thickened, add the beansprouts and cook for 30 secs, then garnish with the spring onions. Serve.

Read more: Black bean veggie burger recipe

Egg foo yung

A humble Chinese omelette made using leftovers, and served with soy gravy and rice, egg foo yung is thought to have been invented by Chinese immigrants who came to America during the 19th-century Gold Rush. This is my version.

Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 2

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Small handful shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1cm slices, stalks discarded
1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine/dry sherry
2 cos leaves, cut into 2.5cm slices
For the sauce:
120ml cold vegetable stock
¼ tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
For the omelette:
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Small handful of beansprouts
1 medium carrot, grated
5 eggs, lightly beaten, seasoned with a pinch each of sea salt flakes and ground white pepper and a dash of toasted sesame oil
1 spring onion, finely sliced on the diagonal

1 Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl; set aside. Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking; add 1 tsp rapeseed oil. Add the garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the shiitake. Toss for a few seconds; add the rice wine or sherry.

2 Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring, until sauce thickens. Transfer to a glass jug and cover with foil.

3 Give the wok a quick rinse with water then place over a high heat to make the omelette. Add 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, then the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the sprouts and carrot; toss for 1 min; pour in eggs and let settle for a few seconds.

4 Slowly loosen sides of omelette with a flat spatula, and cook for 20 seconds more. Sprinkle with the onion, flip, cook for a few more seconds. Serve with the sauce and the sliced lettuce.

Read more: Summer brunching: 3 ways with egg

Ching-He’s top wok tips for healthy eating

Stir-fry to health The healthiest way to sear food at high heat, stir-frying retains the nutrients in food for maximum flavour with minimum effort.

Rice and grains baby Mix several different kinds of rice for texture, flavour and nutrients. I often combine jasmine, brown rice, wild rice and red rice, and sometimes add lentils and chickpeas for maximum protein.

Berry excitedThe Chinese goji berry contains essential amino acids, as well as the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. Loaded with vitamin C and carotenoids, it has 21 trace minerals and is high in fibre. Throw into a stir-fry or over steamed vegetables for a sweet pop.

Go nuts I love to add cashews, pine nuts, walnuts and Brazils to my stir-fries. Nuts contain healthy fats, are high in protein and a good source of minerals and vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin. A small handful in any dish is enough. You can toast or roast your own for an extra layer of flavour.

Get fruity and saucy I like to mix naturally brewed soy with fruit juice and fresh or dried chillies for a sweet-savoury spicy taste. A great combination is soy sauce, pineapple juice, chilli flakes and honey.


Recipes from Stir Crazy by Ching-He Huang (Kyle Books, £19.99). Photographs Tamin Jones



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