Vietnamese-Style Vegetables

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This is a home-style family dish that is also served in Vietnamese restaurants. Its main ingredients are nutritious beancurd and mushrooms, combined with cauliflower, which provides a new texture and flavour, and a spicy light soy sauce to enliven the dish. The beancurd, cut into thin strips and deep-fried, does not break up when stir-fried. Serve this substantial dish with plain rice and you have a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh beancurd
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) oil, preferably groundnut, for deep-frying
  • 100 g (4 oz) cauliflower
  • tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 225 g (8 oz) small button mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) water
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander

Method

Cut the beancurd into 7.5 x 1 cm (3 x ½ in) strips.

Heat the 300 ml (10 fl oz) of oil in a deep-fat fryer or a large wok until it almost smokes. Deep-fry the beancurd strips in two batches. When each batch is light brown, remove and drain the beancurd well on kitchen paper.

Cut the cauliflower into small florets about 2.5–3.5 cm (1–1½ in) wide. Blanch the florets in a large pan of boiling salted water for several minutes, then immerse in cold water and drain thoroughly.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan and add the tablespoons of oil. Put in the garlic and shallots and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the mushrooms, salt, water and soy sauce and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Gently stir in the beancurd, cauliflower and fresh coriander and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the cauliflower and beancurd are heated through. It is then ready to serve.

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