Simple Beef and Cashews with noodles

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I love Chinese food – I should cook more of my own recipes really.Once you have the basic ingredients in your store cupboard then the dishes are fun and simple to create. This recipe is perfect for novices of this cuisine – the resulting flavours are mouth watering. You could use sirloin steak if you feel flush, but frankly, any decent frying steak will do just fine.

For 2

1 & a half tbsp of  soy sauce

1/2 tsp of Chinese 5 spice

2 steaks, trimmed of fat and sliced into thin strips

1 & a half tbsp of ground nut oil or sesame oil

1 garlic clove sliced thinly

Thumb sized piece of ginger finely chopped

Pinch of chilli flakes

30 gm unsalted cashew nuts

2 tbsp of oyster sauce

120 gm of baby broccoli – basically a good handful

1 lime

2 spring onions finely chopped

50 ml water

Noodles to serve – I like the thinnest I can get.

Method

Mix the soy sauce and Chinese 5 spice with a grind of black pepper in a bowl – add the beef and coat it all in the mix. Put to one side.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in  a wok or large frying pan – one with a lid – over a high heat. Add the beef and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan on to a warmed plate. 

Heat half a tbsp of oil in the pan again and add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and cashews. Stir fry for one minute on a high heat. Add the oyster sauce and the water – stir. Bring to the boil, add the broccoli, then reduce the heat to a medium heat, pop on the lid – or cover with foil if no lid – then cook for three minutes.

Return the beef to the pan to warm through. Add the juice of half the lime and the spring onions.

Serve with noodles and the rest of the lime in wedges.  

You will love this – I promise!

A sprout is for life…not just Christmas

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Sprout, Pepper and Chicken Stir Fry

I want to extol the virtues of this marvellous vegetable (oft maligned unfairly) over the coming months, starting with this simple stir fry. The health benefits of greens are all publicised and out there on the web for you to check out – and sprouts come right near the top of the pops when it comes to all they have to offer to protect your body and keep it healthy.

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Ingredients for 4

600 gm of noodles – I used a ready to wok variety

12 sprouts, tailed, outer layer removed

1 long red pepper

3 chicken breast fillets

Bunch of spring onions, topped and tailed and finely sliced

For the sauce – 

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sake (rice wine) – or dry sherry 

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoon soy sauce

Or you could just use, as i did last night – as I was in a hurry (!) a shop bought 125 gm sachet of oyster and spring onion sauce

Vegetable oil – or you could if you wish use sesame seed oil

Method

Deseed and thinly slice the red pepper into match stick lengths. Finely slice the sprouts. Slice the chicken into thin pieces.

Heat the oil in your wok. When nice and hot add the sprouts and red peppers and stir fry for about two minutes until the peppers start to go soft.

Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side. If necessary add a little more oil then pan fry the chicken on  high heat until cooked through – it will only take a few minutes. Then tip in the peppers and sprouts and cook together for a further minute or two.

If making your own sauce, now add the spring onions and fry for a minute, then add the other ingredients and mix well as you continue to cook for a minute then add the noodles. (If using a ready made sauce sachet, add the noodles first then add the sauce mix). Either way, I like to mix it all round then lower the heat and pop a lid on, letting it all steam together nicely for a minute or so whilst the noodles cook. 

Serve on warm plates with bowls of sweet chilli sauce, plum sauce or hot sauce on the side – depending on your mood!

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The sprouts go so well in this dish and they will make you want to add them to lots more dishes!

Don’t just forget them until next December!

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