This recipe came out really well, sorry I forgot to take a photo, I got caught up in wanting to know what it tasted like after the high energy stir-frying and totally forgot!
I doubled the recipe for 4 people, I don’t think there is any way it would serve 4 the way it is, although it says serves 2-4. Perhaps if you are making a few different dishes then it would serve 4, but as the main dish we needed double. I also quadrupled the peppers as the recipe calls for half a red and half a green pepper. I don’t tend to hold back on the vegetables in dishes (never weigh the things!) so I put in 2 red and 2 green and it was just right. The only other amendment I made was to leave out the dry sherry. I did look for some in the supermarket but they didn’t sell it in half bottles and as I don’t drink sherry I didn’t want to spend £6 on a bottle that I would only use for Chinese meals now and again (or when my Mother comes to stay as she does drink it!).
I did this properly and got everything prepared in advance so I could just cook away. We used 2 tins of the mock duck seitan from our local Chinese Supermarket which means that this isn’t a cheap meal to make but well worth it as we all really enjoy the seitan from there.
I found the black beans in the Chinese Supermarket, the recipe calls for fermented black beans and the ones I got are called salted black beans, but smelling them when I opened the packet I knew they were the right thing as it smelt like black bean sauce, I’m looking forward to cooking more dishes using them as I love black beans.
The sauce was really nice and shiny like a proper Chinese meal is, even though it was very simple and only had stock, soy sauce and a bit of sugar in it then cornstarch to thicken. It took the flavours of the vegetables, beans, chili and mock duck on and brought the whole thing together well.
So, this was a great start for this cookbook and I’ll be finding more recipes to try from it as we all really like Chinese food but have found it hard until now to make it taste like it does in a restaurant.