Hello, folks! Sorry to not have posted in almost 3 weeks. I hadn’t expected the last couple of weeks to be as busy as it turned out, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to travel with hubby more often this year. Hopefully, I can get around to sharing the highlights of our travels to some amazing places off the beaten track, in future posts to come.
Meanwhile, as I’m easing back into home-cooking after weeks of eating lots of food away from home, I hope you’ll enjoy this post on a healthy, quick and easy, Chinese vegetable dish of stir-fried bean sprouts with salted fish. Like most Chinese stir-fries, this is very easy to do and phenomenally quick – you can do this in under 5 minutes – the cooking part, that is.
With bean sprouts, to trim or not to trim, aah … that is the question. For many of us who had to help our parents in the kitchen prepare this classic Chinese dish, we used to loathe it! We often laboured hours away, cross-legged on our kitchen floor, trimming the tails (roots) off each sprout, one by one, from a heap of hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of bean sprouts (did I happen to mention that I have a big family?)
But, whilst this task was awfully mindless and monotonous at best, tedious at worst, the half-hour or so that it took to work throughour heap, were also some of the more memorable and unforgettable times we spent together as a family (boys and girls alike were not spared this task in my father’s egalitarian approach to getting house chores done in our home). We exchanged news and stories, caught up on gossip and rumours – much good family bonding came about over our bean sprout trimming sessions over the years!
So, needless to say, I’ve been taught to always trim bean sprouts – it would be considered poor taste, and for lack of a better word, sloth-ful, to leave the sprouts untrimmed – better to not have cooked this dish at all, than to cook with untrimmed sprouts, my mother would say. For my part, I’d like to say that it’s really not all that bad – the trimming thing – and once you get into a sort of rhythm and speed doing this with your fingers, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can work through your heap.
You can enjoy this with just bean sprouts and salted fish, but I like this version with coloured capsicums (bell peppers), chillies, and spring onions, thrown into the mix. It makes for a healthier dish, with the sweet-tasting capsicums adding a nice crunch, and enhancing the overall flavour of the dish. Feel free to use any combination of coloured capsicums – orange-coloured capsicums are relatively sweeter and milder in taste, while green ones add a peppery punch, and red ones add a lovely warm dash of colour. You can get the less expensive salted fish for this dish (these are usually drier and harder), reserving the more expensive, softer but more flavourful variety for dishes like claypot chicken rice (click here to check out this dish).
Chinese stir-fries are quick and easy, healthy, nutrient-rich dietary options for your family, so feel free to incorporate more stir-fried dishes like this (click here for more recipe suggestions) into your meal plan.