There are times when you buy stuff on one of your vacation and keep it stored at the back of your shelf. And then there are times when you dig out those ingredients and the sheer joy of finding that stuff is indescribable. For just that one minute, that jar of jam or that embroidered plate will take you back to your vacation.
What better way to celebrate your find by making something easy and delicious. I found a jar of sweet hoisin sauce from our last trip to Shillong and decided to include fresh, tender mutton to make a stir-fry dish. You could use chicken or duck and even pork instead of the mutton. I made it once with chicken and it was absolutely lovely.
- Mutton – 350 grams. Try and get the tender leg pieces for this recipe. You need to cut the mutton into small cubes so that they cook faster.
- Vinegar – 1 tablespoon (to marinate the mutton)
- Chilli flakes – half tablespoon
- Oil – 1 tablespoon (this dish needs very less oil)
- Bell peppers – 1 cup (include green, yellow and red peppers for their colour)
- Spring onions – 2 stalks, finely sliced
- Hoisin sauce – 1 and half tablespoons
- Coriander leaves – a handful
- Cut the mutton into small cubes and add vinegar to it in a bowl. Mix well and let it rest for at least an hour. The acidity in the vinegar will soften the mutton and reduce the meaty smell as well.
- In a wok or deep pan heat the oil. You can use any vegetable oil. I used a little sesame oil just to get that extra Asian flavour. Add the chilli flakes to the pan.
- Once it’s hot enough, drain the vinegar from the mutton and add the meat to the pan, searing on all sides. It might splutter and spit but just be patient. Cover it with a lid and lower the heat. Keep it covered for about 5 minutes.
- Now remove the lid and check if the meat has developed a soft brown colour. If not, then continue stirring on high heat for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bell peppers and stir fry for a good 2 minutes to heat the peppers through. Just add a little salt to the peppers to release the water.
- Mix in the hoisin sauce and keep stirring on high heat. The sauce has to caramelise and release all that wonderful sugar. You’ll also see the fat splitting from the sauce, giving you hints that it’s about done.
- Another 3 minutes should do it. Keep stirring! It’s called stir-fried for a reason. As soon as the sauce starts to dry up a little, it’s done. Stir in half of the coriander and remove from heat.
- Serve it with some hot eggs noodles or have it straight off the pan. Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.
The mutton will be soft and juicy. The hoisin sauce is sweet and tangy and the chilli flakes just adds that kick of spice. All in all, a great way to celebrate Throwback Tuesday.