Hot and Sour Courgettes

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a side dish

Appears in

Simple but good, this recipe is from Chef But at the late Kenneth Lo’s Memories of China restaurant in London. The Chinese consider black specks of pepper unsightly, so white pepper is used here. It has a mild bite which combines well with chilli to make a seasoned oil with just a hint of heat.


  • courgettes 2 large, thinly sliced
  • salt 1 tsp
  • light sesame oil 1 tbsp
  • dark sesame oil 1 tbsp
  • red chilli 1, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • white peppercorns 1 tsp, freshly ground
  • ginger root 2 slices, chopped
  • garlic clove 1, crushed
  • rice vinegar 1 tbsp
  • soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • sugar 2 tsp
  • spring onion 1, finely chopped


Put the courgette slices in a large colander and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with a plate and set a weight on top. Leave to drain for 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt and pat the slices dry with paper towels.

Heat the oils in a wok over high heat. When very hot but not smoking, add the chilli and pepper. Sizzle for about 30 seconds, then remove the chilli with a slotted spoon.

Add the ginger and garlic, cook for another 30 seconds, then add the courgette slices. Toss them around, then add the rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the spring onion just before serving.