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Do you ever plan a meal thinking it will be easy with just a few ingredients and then you end up on a ‘wild goose chase’ for one item? Well that’s what happened to me last week. After some careful and thoughtful meal planning and list writing I set out on my normal butcher/grocer trip to be stumped by char siu sauce. After a second stop I decided to leave it for the day and I’d go to a large market that generally has everything.. everything except char siu sauce. After 4 stops I finally found the elusive sauce, or so I thought. When I found someone to help me I was told that even though the price tag for the sauce was still there they were not carrying the item any more.  My simple stir-fry was getting a lot more complicated and time-consuming.

At this point I turned to trusty Google to do some research about how to make the sauce myself or possible substitutes.  Luckily I came across an easy recipe for char siu sauce.  Problem solved.


Of course 3 days after I made this I was in another grocery store and decided I’d check for char siu sauce just to see and OF COURSE they had it! Needless to say I did stock up for the next time I make this.

When T. asked what was for dinner I replied char siu beef stir-fry he nodded that I have no clue nod, my best explanation for him was “think asian hamburger helper”. We all remember hamburger helper as a child, lucky for me T. is a fan and my explanation piqued his interest for dinner. However if you are like me and are not a fan of this American classic don’t let my explanation turn you off.  This was a tasty healthy dish the perfect week night dinner and packed lunch the next day.  The original recipe (delicious magazine August 2013) garnished with sliced red chilli and cilantro. My normal readers will know I’m a wimp when it comes to spice and T. hates cilantro SO I skipped these and stuck with roasted peanuts as the garnish.

Char sui beef and broccolini stir-fry (serves 4)

  1. Cook one package of vermicelli noodles according to package.
  2. Blanch 250 grams of broccolini and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan. Fry 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tbsp grated ginger for 1 min. Add 1 pound of extra lean ground beef. Add 1 tbsp of red chilli flakes. Once beef is cooked add 120 ml shaoxing rice wine and 120 ml of char siu sauce simmer for 1 minute. Add cooked broccolini and juice of 2 limes and cook for 2 minutes to warm through.
  4. Divide noodles on plates, top with beef mixture and chopped roasted peanuts.