Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stir fried Baby corn, Broccoli and Water Chestnuts

Baby corn is very rarely available fresh in New York City. Having lived in Singapore for many years, this is one vegetable that we miss. So, a few months back I decided to give in and buy a can of baby corn and a can of water chestnuts. The baby corn was for an Indo-Chinese dish called Baby corn manchurian and the water chestnuts for dumplings. Neither of these dishes materialized and combined with the fact that I had very few fresh vegetables in the refrigerator, this dish was born in a matter of minutes.

I had a head of broccoli and some brown beech mushrooms (aka 'hon shimeji') {see pic below}and I added the canned corn and chestnuts - it was a great combination of textures. These mushrooms grow in bunches of tiny and delicate white stems 1 to 2 inches high, topped with small light brown or cream-colored caps. They are crisp with a juicy crunch and have a mild, slightly nutty flavor. In New York I buy them at the local Japanese grocery store. Of course you could substitute these with shiitake or cremini mushrooms as well (4 oz would be enough).

I flavored the oil with sliced ginger and dry red chilies and sauteed the onion and garlic in the flavored oil. Then I added all the vegetables and the sauce. The secret ingredient in this sauce is kecap manis. The description as per the Gourmet Sleuth website is " [KEH-chuhp MAH-nees] An Indonesian sauce similar to a sweet soy sauce flavored with garlic and/or star anise. Kecap manis is sweetened with palm sugar and is used as a condiment. The sauce is thick and not at all salty and has a very rich caramely flavor." This sauce is available in Asian grocery stores or online at Asian supermarket. It balances the spice of the dry red chilies and the saltiness of the soy sauce. Served over short grain brown rice with some pan-fried frozen vegetable dumplings, it was a quick weeknight meal.

Stir fried Baby Corn, Broccoli and Water Chestnuts
Brown Beech Mushrooms

1 15 oz can of sweet baby corn
1 8 oz can peeled sliced water chestnuts
1 medium head of broccoli, florets separated
1 head brown beech mushrooms, base trimmed and separated into small clumps
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped into ¼ inch pieces
3 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces
2 whole dry red chilies
2 tablespoons shao-xing rice wine
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
2 tablespoons canola oil

1. Drain and rinse the sweet baby corn and the water chestnuts with cold water and set aside. Slice the baby corn down the middle – if they are thick spears, cut into four strips.
2. Heat a wok or a large heavy bottomed skillet with canola oil over medium heat and add the ginger slices and dry red chilies (break the chilies if you want to increase the spice quotient of the dish). Once the chilies start to brown and the ginger sizzles, add the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat stirring often. Cook for about 3 minutes till the onions get light brown edges.
3. Now add the broccoli stems and the rice wine and cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes till the broccoli is al dente.
4. Add the rest of the vegetables, light soy sauce and the kecap manis and stir fry over medium high heat for a couple of minutes. Add about quarter cup water and continue to cook till the broccoli is cooked.
5. Finally add the chopped spring onions and give it a final toss.
6. Serve with brown rice.

Serves 3

1 comment:

  1. This is so delicious! I adore the mushrooms. They taste superbly good with the rest of the veggies. This whole dish is truly amazing. Thanks for another great meal!