I am using broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrots and string beans for this Sichuan style vegetables recipe because I like the combination. However, you can use green bell peppers or any other fairly quick-cooking vegetable when making this dish. Frozen vegetables will work but you can cook the fresh vegetables below just as quickly as frozen.
2 cups cauliflower florets, broken into bite-sized pieces
2 cups broccoli florets, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 cup whole fresh string beans snapped or cut in half
2 small carrots, scraped with vegetable peeler, sliced on angle to make most of surface*
1 cup of red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 tbspn fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
3 tbspn oyster sauce*
1 tbspn cold water
1/4 tspn chili paste*
1 tbspn olive oil
1 green onion, sliced for garnish (optional)
Place broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, string beans, red bell peppers in 1 cup of boiling water in medium-sized saucepan. Cover and cook vegetables for 3 minutes or until they are still crisp, but tender. Drain vegetables and immediately place into a bowl of water filled with ice. This will stop the cooking and vegetables will retain their bright color. Drain and remove vegetables from ice water and set aside.
Use a small second bowl to make the sauce. Add oyster sauce, chili paste and water. Blend and set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, then add minced garlic and minced ginger. Saute quickly, just until flavors meld. Garlic should not turn brown (or it may be bitter). Lower heat and add sliced carrot, cook until carrot is slightly tender.
Add broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, carrots and red bell peppers, stir for about 2 minutes. Add the oyster sauce/chili paste mixture to the vegetables and heat until the vegetable mixture is warmed. Put vegetables in a large dish and garnish with sliced green onion. Serve with stir fry chicken, beef or pork that has been cooked separately.
Makes 7 to 8 servings.
*To make a large surface for cooking vegetables, place on table, cut on an angle, then turn vegetable slightly before cutting again.
*You should be able to find oyster sauce and chili paste in any supermarket. If you cannot find chili paste use red pepper flakes.
Nice to have:
*A mandoline (a slicing utensil) would be useful here. You can buy these in department stores or order online. I have had the same one for many years. A mandoline can be used for angle slicing. Amazon.com has one here, Progressive International Multi-Slicer Mandoline.