Szechwan vegetables, condiments: alone or together, quick and simple.
Predominantly seasoned by a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, the dishes have a light sweet-tart quality.
When not part of a Chineses-style meal, the stir-fried cabbage and the eggplant can be served as vegetable dishes, the cucumber and radishes as a salad. Use the pickled bell peppers, onions, carrots, and asparagus as you would pickles or a relish. Aromatic Szechwan peppercorns can be used like black pepper; you'll find them in many supermarkets as wellas Orietnal food stores.
USe the Szechwan-style mustard and pepper-salt mixture as you would regular mustard and salt and pepper. Stir-fried Napa Cabbage Salad 2 tablespoons each rice vinegar or white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1 medium-size head (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb.) napa cabbage, rinsed and drained well Salad oil
In a small bowl, stir together vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and cayenne; set aside.
Cut cabbage into 2-inch squares.
Pour 3 tablespoons oil into a wok or 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat; when pan is hot, tilt to coat with oil. Add cabbage and stir-fry until it begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Add vinegar-soy mixture to cabbage and mix well; pour into a small serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Cucumber and Radish Salad 1 English or 4 Japanese cucumbers (about 1-1/4 lb. total), rinsed 1 pound radishes with tops (about 10 oz. if tops are trimmed off), rinsed. Dressing (directions follow)
Run tines of a fork lengthwise down all sides of cucumbers, piercing skin. Cut cucumbers crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
Trim tops and root ends from radishes.
With a small sharp knife, cut narrow V-shaped lengthwise gashes at intervals around the sides of each radish, then thinly slice crosswise.
In a serving bowl, mix together cucumber, radishes, and dressing. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 2 to hours, or as long as overnight. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Dressing. Stir together 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons each soy sauce and sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper seasoning. Pickled Red Bell Pepper
Cut 1-1/2 pounds red bell peppers (cored and seeded) into 1-inch chunks and put into a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt; cover and let stand overnight. Rinse peppers and drain well; return to bowl and add 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sugar. Mix. Cover and chill at least 2 days or as long as 1 week. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Szechwan Eggplant and Pork
Rinse 1 small (about 3/4 lb.) eggplant; cut of and discard both ends. Cut eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; cut slices into 1/2-inch-thick strips.
To a wok or 10- to 12-inch frying pan, add 3 tablespoons salad oil and set over high heat. When hot, add eggplant and stir to coat with oil. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Lift out eggplant and set aside.
To wok, add 1/4 pound ground lean pork, 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger, and 1 teaspoon crushed dried hot re chilies. Crumble pork as you cook and stir it over high heat until meat browns, about 2 minutes. Return eggplant to pan and add cooking broth (recipe follows). Stir over medium heat until eggplant is soft enough to mash easily when pressed, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and salt to taste.
Spoon into a bowl. Serve at room tempearture or chilled (if made ahead, let cool, cover, and chill up to 3 days). Makes 4 or 6 servings.
Cooking broth. Stir toegether 1/2 cup regular-strength beef or chicken broth, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon each sugar, white wine viengar, and cornstarch. Tangy Red Onions
Peel 1 pound red onions. Cut onions into about 1/4-inch-thick slices.
In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 3/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon Szechwan peppercorns, 3 large cloves garlic (minced or pressed), 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and stir until they turn brighter pink but are still crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lifte out onions; let onions and liquid cool separately, then combine again. Serve onions at room temperature or chilled (if made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 weeks). Makes 4 to 6 servings. Anise-spiced Pickled Carrots
Peel 1 pound slender carrots and cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices; set aside.
In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine 2-1/2 cupes regular-strength beef broth; 3
beef bouillon cubes; 1/2 cup soy sauce; 1/3 cup sake, rice wine, or dry sherry; 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger; 2 whole star anise, broken (or 1/2 teaspoon anise seed); and 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Add carrots; cover and simmer until they are tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 2 hours (if made ahead, chill as long as 1 week). Drain and serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Pickled Asparagus with Sesame Seed
Snap off and discard tough ends of 1-1/2 pounds asparagus. If desired, peel asparagus with a vegetable peeler; cut spears diagonally into 2-inch pieces.
In a 3- to 4-quart pan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus and boil uncovered until it is tender to bite but still bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain asparagus and at once immerse in cold water until cool; drain. (If done ahead, cover asparagus and chill up to 3 days.)
In a 6- to 7-inch frying pan, stir 1 tablespoon sesame seed over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, 4 teaspoons firmly packed brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Mix with asparagus and serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Szchwan Mustard
With a wire whisk, blend together 1 cup Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons dry sherry, and 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil. Pour into a small serving dish, cover, then chill at least overnight to blend flavors, or up to 1 week. Makes 1 cup. Roasted Szechwan Pepper-Salt
In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan, stir 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup Szechwan peppercorns over medium-low heat until salt turns a pale brown (be careful not to scorch), 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper; let cool before serving. If made ahead, store airtight indefinitely. Makes 2/3 cup.
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|Date:||Feb 1, 1985|
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