During the cold days I often don’t want to go out shopping to buy ingredients to cook. I open my fridge and see what I still have and try to cook with that. This is one of the main reasons why I like to cook Ma La Xiang Guo: because you can put everything in this what you like…well almost everything.
It is spicy, hearty and ideal for when it is getting colder outside. The version below is a vegan, but you can add streaky bacon, shrimp or boiled quail eggs in this stir-fry if you want to add some more protein in this this. When you choose for a vegan version add in mushrooms as they are packed with umami flavor.
Serve 4ppl, 1kg of assorted vegetables
Heat up 6 tablespoons vegetable oil in the wok. Add in the dried chili and stir fry till fragrant and remove the chili from the oil and set it aside for later.
In the oil add in ginger, garlic and leek and stir fry till fragrant.
Add the dry spices: bay leaves, start anise, Sichuan pepper corn, Chinese black cardamom, cinnamon bark and continue to fry that for 1 minute till it release aroma.
Add 2 tablespoons of Sichuan bean paste and 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir fry till the oil change to red color.
Stir-fry the vegetables: add the firmest one first: potatoes, lotus root, broccoli and then the softer ones like mushrooms.
Add in the tofu skin and season it with 2 tablespoons cooking wine and 1 tablespoon light soy sauce and season with salt to taste.
Drizzle in 2 teaspoons sesame oil, earlier fried dried chili and coriander (leave some on the side to garnish)
Transfer to plate and garnish with some fresh coriander and serve with rice.