That flavour, yes that flavour of Burnt Garlic and Chilli, there's something about it. Even if one Chinese man back in the day left it to burn by mistake, well he indeed created history in bringing that amazing flavour bomb to us today. During these social distancing and quarantine times, I'm satisfying my Chinese cravings by trying to replicate some of my fav flavours right here in the kitchen - starting with burnt garlic and chilli of anything :)
So here it is, super quick and super simple. It may not be the most authentic recipe but my whole intention for writing out this recipe is to demonstrate under few minutes you can have a steaming hot plate of your fav Chinese stir fry right before you. My top tips are:
1) Always keep the heat high (even when you're tempted to turn it down!) - gives you the nice 'charred' taste
2) Keep your ingredients measured and chopped (also known as mis-en-place)
3) Cook with your senses - keep a close watch on the veggies and prawns; watch then getting cooked/pinkish-white/firm and continue with the tossing/stir-frying process until done.
Olive oil, for frying
2 to 3 dried red chilli 2 garlic cloves, sliced fine 1/2 onion, cut in square chunks (diced) 1/4 red and green bell pepper each, diced 1/4 zucchini, diced
1/4 cup (or as preferred) mushrooms (I used the Shimeji variety) Handful of prawns, shelled and deveined Salt & Pepper, for seasoning Soy sauce, 3 to 4 dashes 1 spring onion, chopped
1. Place a wok on high heat and drizzle with olive oil (approx. 1 tbsp).
2. Add in the sliced garlic and red chillis. Fry until the garlic begins to turn slightly brown.
3. Add in the vegetables and keep tossing while maintaining the heat on high. Helps get the slightly charred flavour and appearance on the veggies. Once the veggies have slightly charred (you'll see a light browning on the edges of the zucchini), add in the mushrooms.
4. As the mushrooms begin to wilt, add in the prawns. Season with soy sauce (a few dashes is fine) and salt and pepper. Continue to stir-fry. Prawns cook fast so you want to keep a close watch. Keep tossing and as soon as they turn a pinkish-white and firm to touch.
5. Turn the heat off and add in the chopped spring onions. Serve hot.
For the cauliflower rice: All I did was to grate (or in a food processor) the cauliflower. In a frying pan, add a little olive oil and once warm add in the grated cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper and stir fry till you see the 'rice' begin to crisp ever so slightly. Sprinkle a little toasted sesame seeds (if using) - makes a great Keto/Paleo alternative to white rice.