Chinese dinner for two, lazy couch edition, because Monday.
For Fuchsia Dunlop’s insanely addictive (and quick to make) Sichuanese chopped celery and beef, wash and chop or slice a big bunch of celery sticks; blanch them for a few minutes in lightly salted water – a step I would usually skip and just braise it with the rest, but: cooking your rice (for me the short grained, sticky kind) in that same celery blanching water will add a slightly sweet, subtly savoury layer, that is just so so good.
Fry a little ground beef (seriously: about 100g or a very small handful for 2 – 4 portions is plenty) in a wide pan until browned and crispy – throw in some thickly sliced mushrooms, too, if you, like me, love the texture and double punch of umami they add.
Now come a big spoonful each of grated ginger and Sichuanese chilli bean paste (or Korean gochujang, if that’s what’s hanging around your fridge), stirred in and gently fried until fragrant, followed by the blanched celery and a splash each of soy sauce and Chinkiang vinegar; stir through so to coat everything let it simmer for a moment so it comes together as a sauce and turn off. The amounts of the flavourings is of course all up to you – I like it spicy (nothing like having your lips keep tingling for a bit even after dinner is finished!) and saucy, so I add a bit more chilli paste and a lot more soy sauce and vinegar.
Served with the sticky fragrant rice I cooked in the celery water and some cucumbers dressed with a mix of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, grated ginger, and a drop of sesame oil. Sliced scallions would have been perfect, but there were none and we gobbled it up happily it all the same. And there are leftovers that make me already look forward to tomorrow’s lunch.
#notcontest #dinner #mondays #chinese #choppedcelery