Why is a mushroom a great friend to have? Because he’s a fungi. (No? Okay).
If you, like me, are on a mission to stay away from junk food snacking, then warm salads are your best friends. They provide you that cosy, comfy, warm feeling and keep you full for longer. Bonus points for the health part too. The best part is that they aren’t that difficult to make, you can prepare large portions and store them in the refrigerator for reheating whenever your body says “nom-nom time”.
So the other day I came across a stall selling fresh young water chestnut that are my mum’s favourite. It made her happily squeal louder than she should have. I didn’t know what the fuss was about until I promised to try making her a water chestnut salad. I hadn’t cooked with water chestnut before but it looked rather innocent and friendly (insert puppy face fused with water chestnut). It turned out to be surprisingly yum because of its interesting, crunchy and lush texture. More water chestnuts, please!
This is an Asian Stir-Fry style salad, so I suggest you keep your ingredients ready before you start cooking. Here’s what you will need:
- Button Mushrooms – 2 cups (quartered)
- Water Chestnut – 1 cup (chunks)
- Boiled Broccoli – 1 cup
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp.
- Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp.
- Vegetable Oil – 3 tbsp.
- Onions – ½ cup (thinly sliced)
- Black Bean Sauce – 3 tbsps.
- Brown Sugar – 1 tbsp.
- Five Spice Powder – 1 tsp.
- Chinese Rice Wine Vinegar – 1 tbsp.
- Green Chillies – finely chopped (optional)
- Spring onion greens and coriander to garnish
Now that you have everything, it’s time to rock on with your wok on (couldn’t resist) high heat.
Add the oil and let it heat up. Once the oil is smoking, add the green chillies, onions and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté till the onions are slightly fried. Then, add all the sauces and condiments (black bean sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and five spice powder) because you want them to latch on to your vegetables whilst they cook. First add the water chestnut and sauté it till the edges brown. Then add the mushrooms and finally the broccoli. Your wok must be smoking by now (if it isn’t then turn up the heat). This will give a beautiful smoky flavour to the dish. Lastly, season it with salt and pepper according to your liking. Garnish with greens and tuck in.
Happy healthy snacking (pat on your back)!