Chinese mezze

Ching He-Huang's chillied cashew nuts, fried tiger prawns and stir-fried vegetable wraps make great starters or snacks, served with a sweet hot dipping sauce
By Ching-He Huang
Chinese mezze
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the five spice chilli cashew nuts

  • 300 g cashew nuts
  • 1/2 tbsp chinese five spice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes

For the salt and pepper tiger prawns

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 200 g tiger prawns, shell-on, heads removed
  • salt
  • cracked black pepper

For the dipping sauce

  • 100 ml water
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 red chillies, roughly chopped

For the stir fried vegetable lettuce wraps

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
  • 4 chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 200 g can bamboo shoots
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 100 g French beans, diced
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 lettuce, leaves separated and washed

Method

1. Heat a pan over high heat, add the cashew nuts and cook for 1-2 minutes until toasted. Sprinkle over the five spice powder, salt and dried chilli flakes and cook for a further 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl.

2. For the prawns, heat a pan or wok over high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the prawns and cook until pink. Season well with salt and cracked black pepper and serve.

3. For the dipping sauce, boil the water in a pan, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the chillies and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and use a hand blender or food processor to blend. Transfer to a dipping bowl and set aside. The sauce will thicken and become jammy when cool.

4. For the stir-fried vegetable lettuce wraps, heat a pan or wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Stir-fry the garlic, ginger and red chilli for less than 1 minute. Add the Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots, diced carrot and French beans and stir-fry for another minute. Stir in the oyster sauce, light soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil. Spoon some of the filling onto each lettuce leaf, wrap and serve.

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