Posted in Home Cooking, The Flavors of Asia, The Well-read Foodie

In Which a Vegetable Stir-Fry is Given a Sweet and Sour Twist…

Sweet and tangy mixed veg
Sweet and tangy mixed veg

For most families, the notion of having mixed vegetables on the dinner table is regularly confined to three choices: standard-issue chop suey, the more substantial pinakbet (a ratatouille-like dish popular in the northern provinces of the Philippines featuring eggplant, kabocha squash, snake beans, and bitter melon cooked with bagoong [shrimp paste]), and – in the worst case scenario – frozen succotash (carrots, peas, and corn) sauteed in butter (or margarine).  While this does help people get their five-a-day dose of veggies, it can get monotonous very quickly and a little too often.

This dinky little recipe can help change that.  This is actually something of a twist on a recipe I found in a cookbook called Favorite Brand Name Chinese Collection.  The original recipe only featured green beans (French beans/Baguio beans) paired with cashews in a tangy sauce.  Since, at the time, I didn’t have any cashews, I decided to wing it and threw in a handful of chopped baby corn and button mushrooms.  And, since I didn’t have any rice vinegar either, I went and swapped it for an equal amount of balsamic vinegar which lent a pleasant sweetness and a balanced tang to the finished dish.

Let’s just say that even vege-phobes will like this fresh-tasting stir-fry; even picky kids will like it because of the flavors and the crunch of the vegetables.  Plus, it also makes a great meatless main dish when served over a bowl of rice.

Sweet and Sour Vegetables

  • 1 cup topped and tailed green beans, diced
  • 1 cup baby corn, diced
  • 1 can button mushrooms, drained and quartered
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Heat a wok over medium heat.  Add the cooking oil and heat just until it begins to sizzle.  Add the onion and garlic; saute for three minutes.  Add the vegetables and stir-fry for two more minutes.  Pour in the oyster sauce, vinegar, and honey; mix well.  Stir-fry for one more minute or till heated through.  Transfer to a platter to serve or use for topping a bowl of steamed white rice.

Serves 4.



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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