Before you think that this is another ‘boring’ veggie stir-fry, let me bring to your attention to this oriental sauce that rocks my kitchen for a while now, and something that I now officially can’t live without. Actually there are two new loves in the kitchen that I can’t live without; the hoisin sauce and my latest wok. I have been using the Hoisin sauce on almost anything and everything, it really makes a big difference to an otherwise ‘a boring veggie stir-fry’.
I was told by a friend in USA that the hoisin sauce which we get here in Far East is slightly different in taste than its counterpart. With slightly sweet undertone, this is the vital ingredient for my quick after-work supper meals. Usually we like a platter of vegetables to go along as a side served with wholemeal bread or hot steaming rice. This chap-chye, which literally means ‘mixed vegetables’ tick the box in terms of flavour, variety and all the nutrient you ever need on daily basis!
The usual suspect ingredients includes carrots, baby sweetcorn, snap peas, red pepper spiced up with pungent red chilli, soky heat from black pepper, fragrance of garlic and shallots. Sometimes we add fresh prawns too. The best part of this side is it really takes literally minutes to prepare, you don’t want the veggie to go soggy and all the vitamins lost in prolonged frying. Just heat the oil until smoky and throw in all the ingredients, it is ready in minutes.
I have found the perfect companion for stir-fy, in the form of De Buyer wok which I purchased recently from TOTT store Singapore- it was a good investment! The wok is heavy with no trace of teflon, which is a rarity in today’s kitchenware. I was once a fan of all the non-stick Teflon wares until I realised the real danger it does to health, and my swap to cast-iron and heavy aluminium kitchen pans has been a great move. Oh, in case you wonder, good alumimiun and cast iron makes good non-stick ware too!
The most important thing to do if you are using cast-iron or heavy aluminium kitchen pots is the pre-seasoning of the wok. Before first use, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and either bake them in the preheated oven ( such is the case with cast iron ) or fry them on low heat for aluminium wok. The more often the pan or wok is used, the thicker is the seasoned oil coating or in its fancy term, patina , is formed. This helps to create the non-stick property for almost any cooking including eggs. The after care of cast iron and heavy aluminium is as simple as washing it in hot water or mildly soapy water and minimal brushing to preserve the patina. If you scrub it off too much, no worries, just pre-season the wok again. Generally most cast-iron and aluminium wok should be washed and dried immediately to prevent rust formation. Another benefit of cast iron use is the inevitable iron absorption into the food hence into the body, double bonus I tell you.
If you have not made the switch from Teflon coated cookware , please do so as the PTFE contained in most pans are carcinogenic, and a little chip from the non stick pan is all it takes for the health hazard. By the way this is not a sponsored post in any way, I bought the wok after thorough research on the cast iron and aluminium products, so just sharing with all of you.
Now back to the chap-chye, do try this with whichever vegetables you have at hand. The taste is simple yet amazing. Try it!