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Thai Recipes > Stir-Fry > Spicy Sweet & Sour Vegetables 1 March 2006

Posted by cath in mildly spicy, Recipes, stir-fry, Thai food, variations.

Mildly SpicySpicy Sweet & Sour Vegetables

Serves 4 as a lunch or main meal with steamed rice

3 tablespoons oil
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced
½ cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into strips
1 courgette, cut into strips
8 baby corn, cut in half lengthways
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 handful beansprouts
150g tin pineapple cubes/chunks in natural juice
Big red chillies, use as many as required for desired spiciness, sliced (remove the seeds for a gentle heat)

For the Sauce:
1-2 tablespoons lime juice (roughly the juice of one plump lime)
3 level tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2-3 tablespoons pineapple juice from the tinned pineapple


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.
  2. Put the oil in a wok and fry the garlic for a minute or two until golden, add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower and carrot and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, then add the courgette, baby corn and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chillies, tomato and continue to stir until the vegetables are cooked (doesn’t take long).
  5. Add the pineapple, the sweet and sour sauce and stir to combine and heat until bubbling (this won’t take long in a hot wok).
  6. Then add the beansprouts and stir well again.

Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles.

Keep some of the pineapple juice or a cup of water by the wok. Use this instead of more oil to add to the ingredients to keep them loose in the wok. This allows the vegetables to steam-fry and reduces the oil content of the finished dish.

To get the most lime juice from a lime, just give it a quick roll on a chopping board with gentle pressure before cutting and squeezing it…this really works!

This dish can also be made by adding strips of meat to the vegetables, stir-fry the strips of chicken, pork or beef in the garlic and onions and remove from the pan but keep warm. Then adding any seasonal vegetables and stir-fry as above. Return the cooked meat to the pan to combine at the end.

You can also use up pre-cooked meat in this dish, left-over roast chicken works well. Try marinading the cold chicken for half an hour or so in a little soy sauce, sesame oil and add a sprinkle of sesame seeds, before adding to the stir-fry to heat through.

You can use any vegetables that you like (or that are in season) in a stir fry. Simply cut a selection of veg into similar sizes and shapes. Start with the hardest, crunchiest vegetables as these tend to be the longest to cook (e.g. carrots, cauliflower, jerusalem artichokes) and add the more delicate vegetables towards the end (such as finely shredded cabbage, green beans, peas).

Instead of long white beansprouts – I’ve also used mixed sprouts such as lentils, chickpeas, aduki beans. You can make these easily yourself or buy them ready-sprouted from some supermarkets and health food shops.

Need more ideas?

If you like this, try my recipe for sweet and sour pork, with more ideas and variations for stir frying.


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