Sesame greens and bean sprouts

    16 min

    With a little inspiration and the availability of international ingredients, even the most humble vegetables can be elevated to feature in unusual, well-flavoured side dishes. This succulent stir-fry is full of flavour and crunch. It is ideal as part of an Oriental menu or equally delicious with plain grilled fish, poultry or meat.

    5 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 30 g (1 oz) sesame seeds
    • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 small Savoy cabbage, about 300 g (10½ oz), finely shredded
    • ½ head of Chinese leaves, finely shredded
    • 170 g (6 oz) bean sprouts
    • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:6min  ›  Ready in:16min 

    1. Heat a small saucepan and dry-fry the sesame seeds, shaking the pan frequently, until they are just beginning to brown. Turn the seeds out into a small bowl and set aside.
    2. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic, and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes or until softened slightly. Add the cabbage and Chinese leaves and stir-fry over a fairly high heat for 2–3 minutes or until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Add the bean sprouts and continue cooking for a few seconds.
    3. Make a space in the centre of the pan. Pour in the oyster sauce and 2 tbsp of water, and stir until hot, then toss the vegetables into the sauce. Taste and add pepper, with salt if necessary (this will depend on the saltiness of the oyster sauce). Serve immediately, sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.

    Some more ideas

    Use 250 g (9 oz) red cabbage, finely shredded, instead of the Savoy cabbage, and add 3 cooked beetroot, chopped, with the bean sprouts. Red cabbage will require 2 minutes additional stir-frying, so add to the wok before the Chinese leaves. Use 1 tbsp clear honey with 2 tbsp soy sauce instead of the oyster sauce. * Finely shredded Brussels sprouts are crisp and full flavoured when stir-fried. Use them instead of the Savoy cabbage – slice the sprouts thinly, then shake the slices to loosen the shreds. Or use shredded spring greens. Toasted flaked almonds can be sprinkled over the vegetables instead of the sesame seeds.

    Plus points

    As well as contributing distinctive flavour, sesame seeds are a good source of calcium and therefore useful for anyone who dislikes or does not eat dairy products, the main source of this mineral in the Western diet. Although the sesame seeds do bring the fat content up, most of this fat is unsaturated. * Bean sprouts, along with other sprouted seeds, are rich in B vitamins and vitamin C. They also provide iron and potassium.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of folate, vitamin C. Good source of vitamin B12. Useful source of calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin B1.

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