One of my favourite things about summer (bar the sorbets, the cocktails and the long daylight hours) is the wide range of fresh fruits available in stores. I mean have you had a look at the fresh produce aisle recently? From sweet white grapes to tart plums, papaya, the first of the figs (oh the heavenly smell!), litchis, passionfruit, apricots, exotically perfumed mangoes and the last of the watermelons.
Of course there's also the usual suspects that seems to hang around all-year long - crisp apples, creamy bananas and the odd citrus fruit. Yeah, I don't know where the heck they store those - I think it's best not to give it too much thought!
With all the fabulous fruit around, it seems almost a crime not to incorporate as much of them as you can into your breakfasts, snacks and desserts while the season lasts. But for some reason they get second billing when it comes to main meals. My thoughts immediately wondered to salads after I had a conversation with Tara the other day on twitter, regarding the joys of mangoes. (For instance: did you know you can freeze a mango? Well, apparently you can. Sure, the texture won't be quite the same, but it's perfect for smoothies to give you a mango fix all year round. Definitely sounds like something I'm going to need to do.)
I had the idea for adding mango and nuts to a coleslaw, skipping the mayo and adding an Asian vibe with some sauces and spices. Sounds good, yeah? But, like many of my ideas, it turned out somewhat differently in the end.
As I was chopping up the cabbage and tatsoi, I got an inexplicable urge to make stir fry. Which ended up to be a good thing. A very good thing in fact. Because stir frying is one of the very best ways to enjoy cabbage. Tastewise at least, I'm sure healthwise the raw goods is better for you. But hey, this blog is not called the Healthy Pot, now is it?
Let me tell you, the combination of lightly stir fried cabbage strips with just a hint of sesame, delicately flavoured tatsoi leaves and the fragrant juiciness of mango was an absolute hit. All rounded out nicely by some egg noodles (starchy goodness - you know you love it), sprouts and nuts. If I could get hold of decent tofu I would've added that as well. But even without that, the stir fry was immensely satisfying. In fact, I am going to wolf down my second portion for lunch right after I hit publish. Need I say more?
Mango, Peanut & Tatsoi Stir Fry
A Creative Pot original
1 tbsp sesame or vegetable oil
1 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced
100g tatsoi, thinly sliced
100g mixed sprouts (peanut, chickpeas, green peas, mung beans, red lentils)
125g egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
3 tbsp pad thai sauce
pinch ground ginger
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
fresh lemon balm, finely chopped (optional)
1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
1. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add cabbage, stirring until starting to soften.
2. Add tatsoi, sprouts and noodles and cook another 30 seconds over high heat, then lower heat before adding pad thai sauce, ginger and lemon juice. Add salt to taste and cook for another minute or two over low heat to allow the flavours to meld.
3. Stir lemon balm and mango in and serve.