Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Spiced Indonesian Stir-Fry with Cucumber Salad

Whilst looking for inspiration for a quick and easy supper on Sunday night, I picked up one of my many cookery books and started to browse. The book, entitled 15 Minute Cook by Anne Willian was given to me as a birthday present many years ago when I was a student, just starting out in the kitchen. Despite the useful-sounding title, I have never tried any of the recipes. This particular recipe appealed as I had almost all of the ingredients in the cupboard and fridge so minimum effort was required.

It is versatile as the flavours work well with beef, pork or chicken. I had a spare chicken breast, but actually I think next time I would make this with strips of beef fillet.

I adapted the recipe to fit in with the ingredients I had at home, adding some red onion and mange tout. I also changed the quantities for one person. This worked fine, though I wouldn't divide by four as you won't have quite enough sauce.

Ingredients (to serve four)

2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed dried red chilli pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander (I very lightly crushed some coriander seeds which added a nice texture, plus were more aromatic than ready-ground, I think)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 large red onion
750g chicken, beef fillet or pork fillet, cut into strips
2 tablespoons vegetable or groundnut oil
Mange tout or other green veg.

For the cucumber salad -
1 large cucumber
Small bunch fresh coriander, leaves only
250ml plain yoghurt (low-fat is fine)
Salt and pepper

1. First, make the salad. Half the cucumber and de-seed. Slice thinly and place in a bowl. Roughly chop two thirds of the coriander and add to cucumber with yoghurt and plenty of salt and pepper.

2. Finely chop (not crush) the garlic. Mix with the chilli, ground coriander, ginger, soy sauce and vinegar. Set to one side.

3. Thinly slice the red onion. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the onion and the meat until almost cooked. Add the mange tout or other veg.

4. Add the spice mix and stir-fry for another minute or so, until the meat is cooked through (chicken/pork) or slightly rare in the case of beef.

5. Scatter over the remaining fresh coriander and serve with the cucumber salad and rice, or, as I did, noodles.

Notes - I served this with Pad Thai noodles that you cook in the wok - add just before serving and stir-fry for a minute or so, until soft.

Next time, I might use fresh chilli and ginger (although I would also use some dried ginger as this had a more intense, spicy edge to it.)
I did not have any rice vinegar - I used a little white wine vinegar, which seemed to work fine.

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