Hot and sour is such an amazing taste combination, I absolutely LOVE it. Which makes it perfect for vegetables that absorb taste, like courgettes. Combining that courgette with the asparagus therefore means you get the strength of hot and sour balanced with the distinctive taste that only asparagus brings to a dish. I know there seems a lot of ingredients but you can vary them a touch (use just sesame oil rather than nut oil as well for example), substitute the rice vinegar for a little extra honey, or even just leave out the spring onions. However, having tried all of the above, this, in my opinion is going to leave you with the most flavour possible from a hot and sour stir fry. You can also use aubergine in exactly the same way as courgette is used here as it too absorbs flavour in abundance.
The more observant among you will see that I didn’t put the microwave rice with the ingredients image. That’s because I added it mid meal, deciding that I wanted the energy from the carbs and it’s just so easy with microwave rice that I thought why not. However, without the rice, there is still more than enough here for 4 bowls of delicious hot & sour stir fry, so if you’re going for a carb free meal, skip the rice this time.
The key to getting this whole recipe right is timing and the easiest place to go wrong is at the very beginning, when you pop in the oil, garlic, 5 spice, ginger and lemon juice. Make sure the heat is medium to hot rather than full whack and as soon as they are in, stir them for 30 seconds just to brown a touch, before throwing in the asparagus and continuing to stir until the asparagus is softened. The next big thing is to make sure you don’t leave the courgette on for too long or you’ll be left with a LOT of excess water. That’s not the end of the world though so don’t worry too much, as you can just use a paid of tongues when you serve it up and leave the water in the wok.
- 2 Courgettes (£1.11)
- 250g Asparagus (£1.40) (Lidl)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (10p)
- 1 tbsp ground nut oil (10p)
- 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice (15p)
- 2 fresh chillis (include seeds if you want it spicy) (30p)
- 1 tbsp @Verylazy chopped garlic (10p)
- 1 tbsp @verylazyuk chopped ginger (10p)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar (20p)
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce (10p)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (5p)
- 1 tbsp honey (5p)
- 6 spring onions (50p)
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (5p)
- 2 bags of @tildauk quinoa
- Microwave rice (£2). (I used Tilda wholegrain and quinoa)
You’ll need a large wok and that’s it!
- Cut the Courgette in half across. Then grate lengthways into long strips, lightly sprinkle with salt enough cover evenly all over. Leave in a bowl whilst prepping the rest. 3 minutes.
- Slice the chillis into thin strips (remove seeds if you don’t like spice) and remove the thick ends of the asparagus before chopping each into 3. Then finely chop the spring onions into roughly 2cm slices across. 5 minutes.
- Pop the wok on at a medium to high heat and add the 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp groundnut oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp Chinese 5 spice, Chilli, 1 Tbsp Garlic and 1 Tbsp Ginger. Fry for 30 seconds or so.
- Throw in the Asparagus and stir to evenly cover for 2 minutes.
- As soon as the asparagus is on, pop the rice into the microwave.
- Then add the Courgette, as well as the tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, tbsp honey and the spring onions. Stir for a further minute.
Serve up on the rice and sprinkle on some sesame seeds to garnish! ?