Sunday, 13 September 2015

Szechuan Seafood Stirfry

A delicious stir-fry with just the right amount of subtle kick, and a delicately flavoured sauce which doesn’t overpower the squid.

If you're a fan of seafood, this is both delicious and healthy - plus it will use up some of those Szechuan peppercorns you've maybe got hiding in the back of the cupboard!

Serves three light portions (or two generous), 161 calories per serving for three (or 242 between two people).

I can't claim this recipe as my own, as it's a little gem from Mike who is the squid afficionado in the family! You can use larger prawns/shrimp if you prefer (or even omit the squid if you’re not a fan and use 300g of lovely large king prawns instead - just make sure you slightly adjust the cooking time if necessary - see Note below) and adapt the stir-fry vegetables to include your favourites - you could even just use 350-400g ready prepared stir-fry vegetables if you like.

Serve with your choice of rice, cauliflower rice or noodles (whether made from grains, vegetables or shirataki / zero/miracle). [Calories in square brackets]

  • 1 tsp Szechuan / Sichuan peppercorns [7]
  • 5 spring onions (scallions), green parts only [2]
  • ¼ tsp fine (sea) salt
  • 2 tsp neutral oil [90]
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped [6]
  • 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger (or more if you love ginger!) [2]
  • 4 spring onions, sliced (use 4 of the remainder from above) [14]
  • 1 large red chilli de-seeded and chopped [7]
  • 350-400g stir-fry vegetables - you can use ready prepared, or use the mangetout, sweetcorn, mushrooms and bamboo as follows:
  • 80g mangetout (or snow peas) [30]
  • 60g baby sweetcorn (about 5) cut into bite size pieces [14]
  • 100g straw mushrooms (drained weight, you can buy them tinned from oriental stores, or use plain sliced white mushrooms, or oyster) [16]
  • 120g bamboo shoots (from a 225g tin, drained weight) [16]
  • 200ml of chicken stock (e.g. Knorr Touch of Taste) [10]
  • 150g small cooked, peeled coldwater prawns (defrosted if frozen - weighed frozen, hence the low calories) [98]
  • 150g squid sliced into 5mm rings (defrosted if frozen) [135]
  • 1 x 15ml tbsp of cornflour (cornstarch) [36]

1. Whizz up the Sichuan peppercorns to a powder in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar. Finely chop green parts of spring onions, then combine the ground peppercorns, salt and chopped spring onions and blend them to a paste, either with pestle and mortar, or in a small hand blender. Set aside - this is your 'Sichuan paste'.

2. Heat the oil in wok on a medium heat. Add garlic and the ginger and fry gently (this needs to be on a medium due to the reduced amount of oil so that they don’t burn). Add the majority of the sliced spring onions, reserving a few to garnish, together with the chilli and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and 3 tbsp of stock, turn to a high heat and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Leaving the heat high, add the remaining stock and squid and cook for 2/3 minutes until the squid is almost cooked through.

4. Add the prawns and Sichuan paste, cook until the prawns are heated through, mixing the paste thoroughly. This will allow the squid to finish cooking.

5. Finally, add the cornflour mixed with a little cold water into a thin paste, to thicken the sauce, and serve garnished with the remaining spring onions. Enjoy!

If you would prefer to make this with just some nice big juicy jumbo king prawns, instead of the mixture of squid and prawns (e.g. Sainsbury’s frozen cooked jumbo king prawns, 80 calories per 100g), defrost thoroughly first, and then add a minute before adding the paste and cornflour. This will be a whole 2-3 extra calories per portion!).

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