Chinese New Year is a good cause for having plenty of meats and luxury dishes. We had enough for last week's CNY celebration. It’s a time to get back with more vegan dishes to balance our digestive system, even though we’re not vegan eaters. I’m glad that the meat-lover in the family didn’t complain when I served this stir fried dish, 炒三絲 (literally means stir fried three shredded ingredients – vegetables often used). You can easily find this dish from any Chinese restaurants. Different restaurants might offer different combinations of vegetables though. Some might even add a kind of meat into their own version. So, feel free to tweak the recipe here, pick any kinds of vegetables to your liking. This dish is simple, inexpensive, with high fiber and very refreshing.
As for my version, there are some eye-catching black strips mixing with the white bean sprouts and red carrots. They are cut from a very special ingredient, often used in Chinese cooking, called wood ear – a kind of black fungus. Many people overlook its nutritional value because wood ear hasn’t got an attractive looking, sold at a cheap price, and in black. Actually, wood ear has more protein, iron and vitamins than white fungus. Due to their tasteless flesh, it’s seldom cooked or eaten on its own. If they are cooked with meats or stir fried with other vegetables, they’d absorb all the flavours and tastes in sauce, then become a highlight in that dish, giving you an amazingly surprise.
Stir Fried Bean Sprouts, Carrots & Wood Ear Fungus (Printable recipe)
- 200 gm bean sprouts, trimmed
- ½ carrots, shredded
- 6 dried wood ear fungus, available at Asian stores
- 4 Tbsp chicken stock
- shredded ginger, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- ½ tsp cornflour
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- a dash sesame oil
- a pinch pepper
- Trim off the heads and tails of bean sprouts. (You might like to skip this step if you run out of time. The whole bean sprout is edible. Trimming is just for making the dish more good looking.) Soak the wood ears in water until softened. Rinse off and remove any dirts. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain well and cut into thin strips.
- Heat oil in a wok. Add shredded ginger and sauté until fragrant. Toss in the carrot and cook until softened. Add the bean sprouts and wood ears. Add chicken stock and continue to cook for a while. Season with salt. Pour in the seasonings. Continue to cook until the sauce dries up a bit. The vegetables should retain a bit crunchy in texture, so don’t overcook. Dish up. Serve hot.