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.