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Stir-Fried Vegetables with Lemongrass

Photo: © Kana Okada
Yield 4
For this vegetarian Vietnamese stir-fry, featuring asparagus, cauliflower and bell pepper, Marcia Kiesel substitutes soy sauce for the more traditional fish sauce. Lemongrass, basil and coconut milk make the dish fragrant and slightly sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulb only thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (4 cups)
  • 12 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • Rice, for serving

How to Make It

  1. In a mini food processor, finely chop the lemongrass.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the lemongrass and shallots and stir-fry over high heat until the shallots are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, asparagus, carrots and red bell pepper along with 1/2 cup of the water; cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, soy sauce and the remaining 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and season with pepper. Stir in the basil and bean sprouts. Transfer the stir-fried vegetables to bowls and serve with rice.