Fast Asian, a part of the Family Circle mini cookbooks, was picked up somewhere, and like many of my cookbooks prior to this project, never used. Which, as it turns out, is an absolute shame, because there are some top recipes in this book, and as it promises, they are fast. It took more time to wash the dishes in preparing to cook dinner, than it did cooking it.
I really enjoyed the two dishes I selected from this book, and I would definitely make both of them, and a few others that have caught my eye, again. The recipes are straightforward, the instructions are good, and the ingredients aren’t too hard to find (except for chilli bean sauce, I have never been able to find that). I’ll be cooking from here again, and overall give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Spicy Eggplant Stir-fry
- 1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup oil
- 500g eggplant, cubed
- 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 large fresh red chilli, seeded and sliced diagonally
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
- Place the chilli bean sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl, and whisk together well.
- Heat a woke of frying pan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat. Add half the eggplant and cook, stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining eggplant.
- Reheat the wok over high heat, add the remaining oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion, chilli and garlic and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Return the eggplant to the wok, add the sauce and cook, covered for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander leaves. Serve with rice.
Notes on this recipe:
- [From the book] Chilli bean suace is used in may Sichuan-style dishes. If unavailable, replace it with garlic chilli bean paste or sambal oelek, also available from selected supermarkets or Asian food stores
- Or, if you can’t find chilli bean sauce, do what I do and mix black bean sauce and sambal oelek sauce together.
- This was really nice, it needed hotter chillies though
- 5 dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 500g fresh Udon noodles
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 500g chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, extra, finely chopped
- 1 small red capsicum, thinly sliced
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 4 spring onions
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- white pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoons drained, shredded pickled ginger
- Place the mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Discard the stems, squeeze dry the caps and thinly slice.
- Combine the crushed garlic, ginger, Japanese soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and reserved mushroom liquid in a jug.
- Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 2 minutes, or until soft and tender. Drain
- Heat a wok over high heat, add half the oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken in batches and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until browned. Remove from the wok.
- Add the remaining oil and swirl to coat. Add the extra garlic, mushrooms, capsicum and cabbage, and stir-fry for 2- 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the noodles and stir-fry for a further 1 minute. Return the chicken to the wok, add the spring onion, sesame oil, and soy sauce mixture, stirring, until well combined and heated through. Season with white pepper and scatter with the pickled ginger.
Notes on this recipe:
- This recipe tastes just like the yakiudon I’ve had in Japanese restaurants, and was a great meal. There was just enough left over for me to eat another day, which I did, because it couldn’t go to waste.
- I want to make this again, because it was so incredibly tasty.