Chinese Style Crispy Vegetables

Chinese Style Crispy Vegetables

Crispy Vegetables is a very popular Indo-Chinese dish. It’s a dish prepared using some of the Chinese ingredients with an Indian twist to cater to Indian palette hence the use of onion, ginger and garlic! It is so popular that it’s served everywhere from roadside carts to markets to the very expensive restaurants.

The concept behind the dish is that assorted vegetables are battered and fried until crispy and then glazed in a spicy Schezwan and chilli sauce. It is cooked at high heat hence maintaining the crunchiness of the vegetables.

Crispy Vegetables is an easy to make dish once you know the basics and then you can adjust the sauce according to your taste. I know some people likes to measure exactly while cooking but it’s worth remembering that every one’s palettes are different and enjoy different heat and salt. So, I always suggest that while you cook taste, taste and taste as you can then adjust the seasoning and spicing according to you.

I love the versatility of this dish too as you can choose any vegetables and temper it according to your taste. The crunchy deep fried battered vegetables in a spicy sauce is definitely a winner amongst adults and children alike.

Ingredients

1 carrot chopped into 1-inch long sticks
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup diced babycorn
½ cup fine beans cut in half (French beans)
1 diced onion
½ cup diced peppers (capsicum)

For Batter
1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilli
A pinch of red colour (optional)
Oil for deep frying

For Sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped green chili
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped green peppers (capsicum)
2 tablespoons schezwan sauce
2 teaspoons red chilli sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions

Directions

Step-1

In a bowl, mix plain flour, cornflour, soy sauce, salt and pepper.

Step-2

Slowly add water and whisk it to form a batter of thick smooth consistency. Add a pinch of red colour (optional) and whisk again. Next add the chilli, garlic and ginger and mix the batter.

Step-3

Steam the carrots, fine beans, cauliflower and peppers for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Keep them aside to cool after steaming.

Step-4

Heat oil for frying. To check if the oil is ready for frying add a small amount of batter in the oil. If it comes steadily and quickly on the surface, then that means the oil has the right temperature to fry.

Dip the vegetables in the batter to evenly coat them and gently slide each vegetable in the oil to fry them on medium heat.

Fry the vegetables in batches until they turn golden and crisp on all sides.

Step-5

Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic, green chilies and ginger and sauté for a minute.

Step-6

Add onion and peppers and sauté until the onion are slightly translucent.

Next add the schezwan sauce, red chili sauce, salt, pepper and fried vegetables and gently mix. Garnish with spring onions.

Serve hot!

Tips & Variations

  1. It is important to have the right consistency batter so that it coats the vegetables. So, add the water gradually. It should be double cream thickness.
  2. Always use cold water when making the batter. The colder the water, better it is. I sometimes keep a glass of water in fridge to make the batter. The corn flour dissolves better in cold water and yields crispier coating.
  3. I have steamed the vegetables however you can boil them too. Just cool and dry them completely before dipping in the batter.
  4. You can add other vegetables like red and yellow pepper, mushroom, broccoli, tofu too in this dish.
  5. I have used sesame oil in this recipe as it adds nutty flavour to this dish. It also enhances the flavour and gives a rich aroma to the dish. You can also use chili oil or any other vegetable oil.
  6. You can adjust the quantity of ginger, garlic and chilli. I like crispy vegetables to be spicy, so I grind one green chilli too. You can omit that to make it less spicy.
  7. Serve the crispy vegetables immediately otherwise they will become soggy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *