Five Spice ChopSuey
Need a good flavour to your veggies—without MSG or meat? This dish is super simple and draws its taste from the freshness of the vegetables and the spices. With only half a teaspoon of Five Spice Powder, this dish turns from bare to beautifully delicious and aromatic!
Did you know that Five Spice is not really made of five spices, but of flavour? This spice mix celebrates the true authentic Chinese quest to balance the five different flavours into one: bitter, sweet, sour, salty and umami. It is made from with cloves, star anis, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel seeds, ginger roots, and cardamom.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Spice Used: Five Spice
1 head of broccoli cut into small pieces, excluding the thick stalks
1 small cabbage, cut as shown in the photo below
1 medium-sized green or red bell pepper, sliced in wedges
1 medium-sized carrot, sliced in wedges
1 medium-sized sayote, sliced in wedges
1/4 cup water
1 and 1/2 tsp cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 medium-sized white onion, coarsely chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped finely
2 cubes of butter (Olive oil of vegetable oil can also be used.)
salt and pepper to taste 1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
1. In a wok or non-stick frying pan, warm the butter over medium heat. Do not let the butter burn.
2. Add the onions and sweat them until semi-translucent.
3. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir until the edges of the garlic are light brown.
4. Gather the onions, ginger and garlic in one side of the pan.
5. Pour the oil at the center and wait for it to warm for 15-20 seconds. Sprinkle the Five Spice powder for it to meet the heat and activate. Get ready to smell an amazing aroma! Stir the spice and oil gently for 10-12 seconds.
6. Stir-in the carrots and sayote and let all ingredients mix together. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
7. Cover the pan for 3 minutes since the carrots and sayote take longer cook time.
8. While waiting, mix cornstarch and cold water in a separate cup. Make sure the powder gets dissolved properly. Stirring constantly will do the trick. Do not use hot water as this will make the cornstarch curdle.
9. Back to the pan, add the cabbage and broccoli. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir fry again for two-minutes.
9. Pour the cornstarch mix and let the mixture coat the vegetables. Stir-fry constantly for 20 seconds.
10. Then add the bell-peppers and mix for 10 seconds.
11. Turn off the heat and cover the pan for the vegetables to steam for another 2-minutes.
12. Transfer to a dish.
Serve with fried fish or rice. Enjoy the crunch of the veggies, and the balanced flavours!