A plate of Vietnamese Stir Fried Vegetables (Rau Xao) is a great accompaniment to any Southeast Asian meal, which usually consists of a soup, a main course, some rice and a plate of stir fried vegetables.
Add some meat or seafood to the vegetables and the dish becomes a complete meal when served with some rice – easy to prepare and perfect for days when work takes a toll. If you are a vegetarian, omit the fish sauce and add some tofu instead of meat.
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup red peppers/capsicums
- 1 cup baby corn
- 1 cup carrots
- 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 Tbsp rice wine
- ½ tsp white ground pepper
- Salt to taste
Cut all the vegetables so that they are bite size. Cut the carrots and baby corn so that they are about 1½ inch by ½ inch. Do the same for the broccoli. Cut the red peppers into 1 inch squares. The trick is to try and ensure that the vegetables are proportionate to each other in size, so that they will all get cooked at roughly the same time.
- In a pot or wok, bring 10 cups of water to a boil and add 1 tsp of salt.
- Blanch the carrot, broccoli and baby corn for 30 seconds. Remove and soak these vegetables for 10 seconds in cold water so that they do not get overcooked. Drain the vegetables.
- Heat the oil in a wok or sauce pan over low heat. Fry the garlic until golden brown.
- Turn up the heat to high and add the blanched vegetables with the red peppers. Fry for 20 seconds and mix the vegetables well.
- Add the rice wine, fish sauce, white pepper and salt. Stir well and serve the stir fried mixed vegetables with plain boiled rice and any other Southeast Asian meat or seafood dish.
Note: I like my vegetables crunchy and crisp with some life left in them. If you like them a bit softer, keep cooking for another 10 to 20 seconds. The secret to a tasty stir-fried dish is frying on high heat in a short time. If you feel you would like to cook at a more leisurely pace, just cook on medium heat throughout the whole process for 1 minute.