Stir fried Vegetables in hot Garlic and Lemongrass Sauce Recipe:
Delicious Chinese gravy for the vegetarians, three peppers, mushrooms, tofu in a hot garlic and lemongrass sauce.
A good Chinese gravy is worth dying for, its about the perfect balance of a variety of flavours. Chinese is like homefood to us Indians, so much so that we have developed our own Chindian cuisine already. But ‘’Chindian’ we’ll leave for some other day since today was about a true Chinese flavours. Good Chinese to my understanding, or any other cuisine for that matter, is about fresh ingredients and aromas. But the Chinese unlike most is also about good ready to use sauces; a bottle of good dark soy sauce, fish sauce, schezwan peppers, smoky sesame oil, and our job gets really simple after that. Besides the extensive chopping there isn’t long hours of frying or stirring required and that’s something I love about it. So while the prep time could go on the higher side but the cook time is really not too much, hence they make great party recipes.
It was not a party really but a couple of friends for lunch and one of them was a vegetarian, so a time to challenge my vegetarian skills. So I pulled out some beautiful peppers, mushrooms, babycorn and tofu, stir fried them and added to this absolutely aromatic and flavourful hot garlic sauce flavoured with lemongrass. Do try the recipe and you would be suuppried by how much texture and flavour can a good assortment of veggies and that sauce offer.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
For the gravy:
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- An inch ginger stem, thinly sliced
- 2 Chinese red chilles, chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped lemongrass
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp schezwan pepper pwd
- 3 tbsp good dark soy sauce
- 2 pinch sugar
- 1 tsp fish sauce, optional for pure vegetarians
- 2 tbsp Courn flour
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp seame oil
- Salt to taste
- Spring onion greens to garnish
For the Stir fry:
- ½ cup each yellow , green and red bell peppers, chopped into square chunks
- 200 gms tofu, cut into cubes
- 200 gms button mushrooms, cut into thick pieces
- 200 gms babycorn, cut into rounds or ovals
- Bulbs of 4 spring onions, halved
- ½ tsp Chinese All spice
- 4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
- ½ tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 and ½ tbsp oil
- Little salt to sprinkle
- To make the sauce, heat vegetable oil and sesame oil in a wok then add chopped lemongrass and garlic, allow it infuse for half a minute but not to change colour. Then add ginger, onion, red chilli flakes in that order one after another and fry for a min.
- Tip in the schezwan pepper pwd and chopped chillies and 2 pinch of sugar, stir and then add the soy sauce, mix and pour 4 cups of water. Allow it to come to a boil and then simmer.
- Blend cournflour with a little water and pour into the sauce while stirring continuously. Let the sauce bubble away and reduce to a required thick consistency. Then stir in the fish sauce and turn of the heat. Keep covered until ready to serve.
- For the stir fry, heat oil in a pan add the garlic and chilli flakes, followed by mushrooms and babycorn. Fry untill the water from mushrooms dry out and baby corn softens.
- Add the three peppers and quartered onion bulbs, tofu, five spice pwd and a few pinches of salt and stir fry for just about a min or two.
- Add the stir fried veggies to the prepared sauce , cover up for a minute, garnish with spring onion greens and serve with noodle or fried rice of your choice.
Dos and Don’ts:
- Do not overcook the veggies, keep the crunch in the peppers as they taste better that way.
- Adjust chillies to taste
- Do try the recipe with chicken, replace tofu with fried chicken chunks.