Thai-Style Sweet and Sour Vegetables

This is a straightforward vegetarian dish, quick and easy to make. It takes hut a few minutes of cooking time in the wok. The sweet and sour flavouring gives depth and zest to this colourful mixture of vegetables. Serve this as a side dish or a main vegetarian course.

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) firm fresh beancurd
  • 4 spring onions
  • 225 g (8 oz) cucumber
  • 275 g (10 oz) pineapple
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) groundnut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese white rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chilli bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water

Method

Cut the beancurd into 2.5-cm (1-in) cubes. Trim the spring onions and cut them into 2.5-cm (1-in) segments.

Peel the cucumber, slice it in half lengthways and, using a teaspoon, remove the seeds. Then cut the cucumber into 2.5-cm (1-in) pieces. Peel, core and cut the pineapple into 2.5-cm (1-in) pieces.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok until it almost smokes, then deep-fry the beancurd cubes in two batches. When each batch of beancurd cubes is lightly browned, remove and drain well on kitchen paper.

Drain most of the oil from the wok, leaving 1 tablespoon. Re-heat the wok until it is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the onion and pepper and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the beancurd and cucumber and continue to stir-fry for 4 minutes. Finally add the pineapple, soy sauce, salt, sugar, vinegar, chilli bean sauce and water and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a warm dish and serve at once.

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