The European carrot is now the standard in China and in Chinese cookery, although the Chinese do cultivate a larger version which is also quite sweet. Because of their distinctive taste and colour, carrots combine well with other seasonings and herbs, in this case the pungent flavours of ginger, black beans, garlic and dried chillies. The carrots are first roll cut and then blanched. The final step of stir-frying sears the spices and allows the carrots to absorb the new flavours. These colourful and tasty carrots go well with a simple serving of plain rice. They can also be served at room temperature, making them an interesting addition to any picnic menu.
Peel the carrots and roll cut according to the technique. Blanch the carrots in a large pan of boiling salted water for 4–5 minutes, then immerse them in cold water. Drain thoroughly.
Heat a wok or large frying-pan until moderately hot and add the oil. Put in the garlic, ginger, chillies and black beans and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Stir in the carrots, sugar and rice wine and continue to stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until the carrots are thoroughly heated. Add the sesame oil and continue to stir-fry for 20 seconds.
© 1995 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.