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Spicy Szechuan Stir-Fry

Spicy Szechuan Stir-Fry


  • 1 ½ sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 175ml (6 fl oz) chicken stock
  • 2 whole anise stars
  • 1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Hoisin sauce
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp 5 spice powder
  • 2 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tbsp water


  • 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 450g (1 Ib) prawns
  • 2 tbsp canola oil, or corn oil
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 175g (6 oz) onions, chopped
  • 175g (6 oz) broccoli florets
  • 85g (3 oz) green peppers, finely sliced
  • 85g (3 oz) red peppers, finely sliced
  • 85g (3 oz) yellow peppers, finely sliced
  • 175g (6 oz) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp thin soy sauce
  • 85ml (3 fl oz ) dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 85g (3 oz) spring onions, cut thinly on the bias
  • 3 tbsp Szechuan stir fry sauce


For the sauce...

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute until softened but not browned. In a bowlcombine the remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch mixture. Add them to the saucepan and bring to a simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the star anise. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and let boil 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more Tabasco if desired.

For the stir-fry...

Heat a small, dry pan and toast the peppercorns until they are fragrant. Shake the pan constantly. Remove from heat. Place the peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind.

Season the prawns with the peppercorns and salt and set aside. Heat the wok over high heat. When the wok is hot, add the oil. Add the ginger, garlic and onions and stir fry for 1 minutes. Add the prawns, broccoli, peppers, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, sherry and chilli paste. Stir fry until the prawns are cooked and vegetables are al dente, about 5 minutes. Add the spring onions and stir fry for 1 minute. Check seasonings and serve at once.

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