I just like this time of the day in Spain – early afternoon, everywhere is quiet, not many people in the streets, all the shops are closed for lunch, followed by siesta. After a few streets, you can see some people eating in the small bars. The view in my sight is the leaves ‘dancing’ with the romantic wind, time to time they will let the sun shine through, I have to quickly shut my eye lids for a second; and the shadow of the trees lying on the street, made a big contrast with the light reflected on the building or the windows. … I could not even hear my own steps, or even couldn’t realize self-being, all by my ears are the echos of the mild wind and warm air. …Yes, warm, but not restless, I can almost imagine people place themselves somewhere in the house, the best location where the wind blows in through the window to cool down the still and warm air in the room, then they just nap in whichever the position they can relax themselves, later they would wake up with a bit sweat to continue the rest of the day.
… I totally lost myself in the extreme familiar warm picture — time and location became terms that I could not explain anymore.
And you? Enjoying the summer? Summer sun, summer rain, summer atmosphere…
Food… Yes, food. Today, I want to write about stir frying shredded potato with green pepper . It is a so common homey dish, I would never thought we could get it in any restaurant in China.
But two years ago, when we were traveling in Dalian (the “northeast Hongkong”), which is known for serving the best seafood in China, we had bad stomach and we ended up in this “Hui” ethnic group restaurant having La mian (Pull noodles) all the time. La mian are plain and easy to digest.
There I also saw the dish I am posting about today, well, almost the same — I immediately made the order, and reminded me to cook it again.
Potato and green pepper in Chinese cuisine
I say almost the same is because in their dish, they stir-fried shredded potato, green pepper and beef mince, where we normally cook it without the meat.
The shredded potato is not supposed to be very soft or mashy, rather, juicy and crunchy. So is the green pepper. Oh, and the potato and green pepper are supposed to be shredded into very slim strips, I mean as thin as possible. In fact, in Chinese, it is called “tu dou si” and “qing jiao si”, “si” literally means “thread”, like silk thread, so you can imagine. And they can be stir-fried quickly in the wok. (But in these photos, I was a bit … lazy, the strips are a bit fat).
As I mentioned in the previous post, I used new potato for most Chinese potato dishes ; as for the green pepper, I just used the normal ones I could get in supermarket. But if you can get, the peppers with thin skin, for example, Italian (green) peppers are better.
HOWEVER, if you are buying in the markets in China, have to be very careful, the peppers shaped as “Italian (green) peppers” with a “pointing” end can be very very very spicy, so probably better to ask the sellers first.
There are around three basic types of green peppers in the markets in China. One is just like normal green peppers, but with thinner skin, juicy and crunchy without any chilli taste, it is called You jiao , as oily pepper . The second type has the same shape but it is very spicy, (dry spicy), comparable to those small chillis, for people who really love hot spicy food. There is also another type “half spicy” — spiciness mainly stayed at the inside (white) stems and seeds, if you removed the stems and seeds with care, the rest of the skin is very tasty, without any chilli taste in the mouth, but a little bit spicy smell to the nose, they are actually the best ones for this dish.
Also, since the main ingredients here are a bit plain in taste, so I used garlic and ground sichuan peppercorn to enrich the flavour — which is a very common way of home cooking in northeast, well, but somehow, I really like the ground sichuan peppercorn with potato in stir-frying.
The recipe: Chinese stir fried potato with green pepper
This is a typical stir-fry dish with strong fire, and can be quickly done. It is very light, so probably even very good for summer stir-fry dish.
Potato, green peppers.
Garlic, ground sichuan peppercorn, salt, oil, cooking wine, vinegar (optional).
1) Peel the potato, and shredded the potato and green peppers to the thin strips.
2) Chop around 3-4 garlic gloves.
1) In a heated wok, pour in around 4 tablespoons of oil.
2) When the oil is hot, add in chopped garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of ground sichuan peppercorn.
3) When the smell of garlic and sichuan peppercorn coming out, ( :) have you got bored of me saying the same thing all the time? I am bored of myself, see my English is limited, otherwise, I could use some more fancy words to explain. Je.. je… ), put the potato strips in, stir well, and add a few drops of cooking wine.
4) After couple of minutes put chopped green pepper in, stir well.
Then add in around just a bit more than half of teaspoon of salt, and couple of drops of vinegar. (The vinegar is not for adding the sour taste to the dish, rather just help enriching the flavor a little bit). Also if you do use vegetable/mushroom/chicken stock or MSG, you can add 1/2 teaspoon at the end as well. Then
If you like the potato and green pepper more soft, then you can add some water in the wok, and keep it cooking a bit longer, otherwise, it is just crunchy, still juicy, but without “rawness”.
With boiled rice or bing (flat bread) or beer, they are all good combination. :)