[philiptellis] I love food, and I like writing about food. Follow me as I follow my nose, seeking out gastronomic delicacies wherever I find myself

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sweet and Sour vegetables with pears

Last night a bunch of my old classmates dropped in for the evening. To mark the occasion, I decided to try something new. This recipe was the outcome. It's based on the sweet & sour recipe that my parents used to make while we were young, but I've used different spices.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp chinese 5 spice
  • sweet red chilli sauce to taste (I used thai)
  • hot chilli sauce to taste (I used maggi hot & sweet tomato chilli sauce)
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Straw mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup baby corn
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup brocolli florets
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup tofu cubes
  • 1/4 cup sliced pears (either canned or fresh but stewed to soften them)


  1. Preheat a large skillet on high
  2. Add the 2 tbsp oil and heat for 1 minute
  3. Reduce heat to medium
  4. Add the chinese five spice and fry it for 1 minute
  5. Increase heat to high, add the tofu and stir fry until well coated with the oil and spice
  6. Add in carrots, brocolli and cauliflower and stir fry until tender but not soft
  7. Add in the mushrooms, baby corn and bamboo shoots and stir fry until all vegetables are coated
  8. Add in the pears and mix well
  9. Sprinkle vinegar and lemon juice into the skillet and mix it up
  10. Add sweet red chilli sauce - 3tbsp is the base line, increase or decrease depending on desired sweetness level
  11. Add hot chilli sauce - 3tbsp is the base line, increase or decrease depending on desired heat level
  12. Stir fry for an additional one or two minutes
  13. Reduce heat to medium for 1 minute, then cover skillet and reduce heat to low for another two minutes
Serve with of rice noodles or steamed rice.


For a non-vegetarian option, add in shrimp, thinly sliced chicken or cubes of pork. If using shrimp, add it in after the pears, if using chicken or pork, either pre-cook the meat and add it in after the pears, or add it in before the tofu and fry thoroughly for about 5 minutes.

Alternately, coat the shrimp, chicken or pork in a corn flour based batter and deep fry it before adding to the mix.