I learnt to cook Chinese food from Gok Wan (I know, who thought I’d be saying that a few years back?) and Ken Hom. Therefore there’s a good chance that this recipe was one of theirs, but both would probably be very offended if I claimed that this was Chinese cuisine.
Red Dragon does a ginger and lemon stirfry sauce, but while that is a sticky, far too sweet gloop (which resembles radioactive vomit), this is a light and tangy recipe which tingles the taste buds with warmth. It's brilliant for that special occasion, because while the fish feeds two you can keep leftover veg for lunch boxes etc.
I recommend chopping everything first, that way you can have something to hand without burning everything else. The key to the perfect stirfry is timing – beans cook more slowly than strips of peppers, chicken takes longer than both. Unfortunately it’s not a skill I’ve managed to master, but I like to think I’m getting there.
You Will Need:
1 mackerel fillet
Handful of dwarf beans
2 peppers (I went one orange and one red)
A small chilli
A small clove of garlic
A bit of ginger – twice as much as garlic
3 spring onions
Few splashes of lemon juice
Splash of soy sauce
Sprinkle of sesame seeds
Small pinch of sugar
1) Season the fish well and place on the grill skin side up. There’s no need to turn it on yet, but it gets it out of the way.
2) Meanwhile, finely chop your chilli, ginger, garlic and spring onions. You can add less or more chilli depending on your preferences. Set these aside too. According to Gok; garlic ginger and spring onions make up the base of all Chinese food- a bit like how everything we make seems to start with an onion.
3) Top and tail the beans, getting rid of the straw bits at the end. I’m sure you can eat them if you want to, but I don’t like them all that much.
4) Chop the peppers – I like to do it two different ways, so I did strips and flowers. To make a flower (I don’t know the technical name) cut the top so you can pull out the seeds and stork easily, then just slice. If flowers are a wee bit too big you can always half them.
5) Turn on the grill. The fish takes about 10 minutes, and there’s no need to turn it as the skin will blister and be gorgeous.
6) Heat some oil in a frying pan or wok; add the chilli, ginger, spring onions and garlic. Fry for about a minute before adding the beans.
7) After another couple of minutes add all the pepper and stirfry for another 3-4 minutes before ribboning the carrot. That means quite simply, getting a peeler and peeling it into the stirfry to create thin ribbons.
8) After one more minute add the soy sauce, lemon juice and sugar. After another few seconds add a tiny splash of water. When the water has all turned to steam add some sesame seeds and toss. The sesame seeds are optional, but well worth the investment if you use them often enough. My big bag was about 80p from a local health food shop.
9) Serve with the fish and you’ve the perfect grown up meal.
If I’m serving the veg as part of a family meal – say with chicken or beef – I’ll make a huge pile of the veg and pop it as a big rainbow in the middle of the table.