Vegetables Stir-Fried

by Jaffar

* 4 oz. fresh green beans * 2 carrots * 1 sweet red or yellow bell pepper, seeded * 1/2 small cauliflower, in small florets * 1 large broccoli stalk in small florets * 2 Tbsp. canola oil * 1 red onion, thinly sliced * 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped * 1 small Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced * 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger * 4 oz. sugar peas, topped and tailed * 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce * 1/2 Tbsp. Mirin (see Note) * 1/4 tsp. sugar freshly ground pepper
Slice beans and carrots on the diagonal. Cut pepper into 1-inch squares. In a large pot of boiling water, separately blanch beans, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, just until tender-crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables from water to a colander and immediately rinse under cold running water to prevent further cooking. Drain thoroughly. Heat about 2 tsp. oil in heavy skillet or wok over medium heat. Add onion and 1 clove garlic, and stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggplant, some ginger, more garlic and stir-fry briefly. Add peas and stir-fry 3 minutes longer, adding more oil if necessary.
Add as many of the blanched vegetables, along with some of the garlic and ginger, as you can stir-fry at one time. If pan is full, transfer vegetables to baking dish and keep warm in an oven preheated to 250 degrees.Combine all vegetables in large serving bowl. In small bowl, mix together soy sauce, Mirin and sugar. Mix soy mixture into vegetables. Season to taste with pepper and serve.
Mirin, found in the Asian or specialty foods sections of many supermarkets, is a sweetened, mild Japanese rice cooking wine with a negligible amount of alcohol that evaporates in cooking. Chicken or vegetable broth, along with a pinch of sugar, can be substituted. For more details