This is the most beautiful bowl of stir-fry I have ever seen. My auntie was in our kitchen last weekend to show me a couple of great vegetarian dishes. She has been a Buddhist vegetarian for many years now, and she has been very creative and smart in preparing her food. She must be one of the most attentive people I have ever met. She takes great lengths in cutting her vegetables and she really makes sure everything is evenly cut in same sizes and all the ingredients used are as colorful as rainbow!
So there she was, early Sunday morning already showed up on our doorstep and she said “I will show you how to cook something beautiful you have never seen before. We are going to cook stir-fry vegetables with melon!” Only one word came out of my mouth “Really?”
She had this long strip of paper with zigzag pattern on it. We taped the paper across the melon and cut our way through it. When we removed the top half, it was perfect. We scraped off the inside of the melon and cut a little bit off the bottom part so it can sit steadily on top of plate.
The vegetables used are black fungus (cloud ear fungus), broccoli, carrot, baby corn and button mushroom. Buddhist vegetarians do not consumed onion and garlic, so sliced ginger is used in the stir-frying. Here is the amazing part. The hollow melon is filled with cooked vegetables and steamed wholly, the sweetness of melon lightly infused the stir-fries. The vegetables are stir-fried for a very short time to retain its crunchiness. The seasoning used is simple salt and pepper. The fresh vegetables that is still crunchy complement the soft texture of steamed melon. I can’t find the right words to describe this dish, I am sure a picture (or two or three) tell a thousand words!
Vegetable Stir-fry with Melon
1/4 cup cooking oil
5 grams ginger, peeled and julienned
300 grams broccoli
50 grams dried black fungus (cloud ear fungus), soaked for half an hour
200 grams fresh baby corn, alternatively canned baby corn can be used
200 grams cauliflower
200 grams carrot
1 can button mushroom
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water
Cut all vegetables into same sizes chunks, except for carrot. Peel and halve the carrots lengthwise and make indentation using a sharp knife and cut them into 0,5cm slices
Heat cooking oil in a wok. Add ginger and stir fry till fragrant over high heat. Toss in black fungus and add water.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and lower heat, cook covered for 5 minutes
Remove the vegetables from heat and fill melon with stir-fried vegetables
Steam the filled melon for 3 minutes. Serve warm
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