RECIPE / Round the world on a stir-fry

IT IS not often that Chinese recipes for stir-fries come from Greece and go down a bomb with the Scots. Last week's one for chopped chicken and prawns came from Mike Bentall in Athens. We printed it. John McKenzie, manager of the Clydesdale Bank at Piccadilly Circus, London, read and quickly made it. He reported to his colleagues that it was 'dead cheap, dead quick and dead delicious' and a black economy of photocopied stir-fry recipes was soon established. This week's first winning recipe comes from Hae-Yin Loke of north London, who writes, 'This is a simple dish that my mother cooks when I'm back in Singapore.' The original uses dried salted fish, but Hae-Yin Loke makes it with bacon. It would be delicious with properly soaked salt cod.

Bean-Sprouts with Bacon

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients: 9oz/250g streaky bacon, well soaked salted fish or some strong, savoury protein

1lb/450g bean sprouts

3tbs groundnut oil

1 clove garlic, pounded

splash of dry sherry or rice wine

Preparation: Slice bacon into thin strips. Heat wok to smoking point. Add 1tbs oil, coat surface and reduce heat. Fry bacon and reserve. Splash in sherry to deglaze and pour over bacon. Clean and dry wok. Heat it until smoking point, add 1-2tbs oil and garlic. Cook briefly to flavour oil and discard garlic. Add sprouts and stir-fry over a medium-high heat until they are translucent - about two minutes. Lay out in dish, scatter with bacon and serve with hot fluffy rice and condiments.

Our next recipe comes from Elizabeth Hart of Upton, Cheshire. 'This is from the Chinese YWCA in San Francisco where I used to dash after work for cookery lessons with Mrs Tom and Mrs Lea,' she writes.

Broccoli and Ground Pork

Serves 4

Ingredients: 2tbs oil

1 heaped tbs chopped ginger

1lb/450g ground pork

12oz/350g broccoli

2tsp soy sauce

2tbs brown sugar

3tbs wine or whisky

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Preparation: Wash and dice broccoli. Heat wok to smoking point, add 1tbs oil, quickly reduce heat and lightly brown the ginger. Add pork and lightly brown. Reserve. Clean wok, reheat, re-oil and stir-fry broccoli for two minutes. Return pork to wok, add soy sauce, sugar and wine. Season. Toss briefly, add 4oz-6oz water, reduce heat, cover and cook over a wok stand or diffuser until tender - about 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Both contributors will receive copies of Yan-kit So's Classic Food of China (Macmillan, pounds 25). On Christmas Eve we will print your recipes for using up left-overs from the festivities.

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