Monday, October 06, 2014

Vegetarian "Hakka" Stir-Fry 蔬菜小炒

Remember the health-specific five colors (black, white, green, red, yellow) of bibimbap? Now the five colors can be found in this stir-fry. Unlike a leafy vegetable stir-fry or braise that tends to be tender-soft, this stir-fry is crisp with exciting crunch and bite from the celery, bell peppers, woodear mushrooms. Woodear mushrooms is rich in plant collagen, high in iron and a good source of protein and riboflavin (vitamin B12) comparable to that of meat (Source: Ezyhealth).

This is a vegetarian dish inspired by the famous Taiwan non-vegetarian stir-fry 客家小炒 that typically combines celery, cuttlefish/squid, braised/marinated tofu, and pork.

A one-dish loaded with vegetables and plant proteins (tofu, and woodear mushrooms) that can be paired with rice or congee, or easily tossed with noodles, if you prefer, to make a one-dish meal.

Celery, Bell Peppers, Tofu and Woodear Mushrooms Stir-Fry/Vegetarian "Hakka" Stir-Fry 蔬菜小炒
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3-4 stalks celery, sliced to thin strips (Note: peel the celery slightly to make it less fibrous, but do not over-peel)
Handful of 5-6 woodear mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced to thin strips
1/2 yellow or orange bell peppers, sliced to thin strips
Firm tofu, pan-fried on both sides and sliced into strips
Vegetable stock or some water
Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste

Directions: Heat some oil in a wok or pan, add the shallots and fry till translucent. Add the celery and woodear mushrooms, and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and tofu and fry for about 2 minutes. Add stock or water and let the mixture simmer for about 2 minutes, allowing all the flavors to combine. Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste.

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