Stir-fried ground meat and diced vegetables in a spicy sauce produce an Oriental "chili" that can be mounded on steamed rice or buttered noodles to make a quick and satisfying dinner.
Advance Preparation In a bowl, thoroughly combine lamb, soy sauce, sherry, and hoisin sauce. Set aside until ready to cook.
Seed and stem peppers, then cut into ½ inch cubes. Peel and coarsely chop onion. Set peppers and onion aside.
In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients; set aside.
Last-Minute Cooking Stir cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water, then set aside.
Place wok over highest heat. When wok becomes very hot, add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to center, then roll oil around sides of wok.
When oil just begins to smoke, add lamb and stir-fry, pressing meat against the sides of the wok, until it loses its raw color and separates into small pieces, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a work platter.
Immediately return wok to highest heat and add remaining tablespoon peanut oil to center. Add ginger and garlic and saute for a few seconds. Add vegetables and stir-fry until peppers brighten and onion becomes transparent, about 2 minutes.
Return lamb to wok and pour in sauce. Bring sauce to a low boil, then stir in a little cornstarch mixture to lightly thicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn out onto a heated platter or individual plates. Serve at once with steamed rice, noodles, or bread.
Serves: 2 as an entree; 6 to 8 as part of an Oriental meal.
Menu ideas: Easy dinner for 4 - Chinese Chili with Peppers (double recipe); Onion Bread (double recipe; cook before guests arrive, and reheat in oven); Steamed Corn with Chinese Herb Sauce; ice cream and coffee.
Notes: This dish is excellent made with ground pork, beef, or lamb, but not with ground veal, chicken, or turkey.
To simplify any stir-fry dish, substitute ¾ pound ground meat (pork, beef, or lamb) for the cubed or sliced meat or sea- food. This shortens the preparation time but results in an equally good dish.
From "Pacific Flavors, Oriental Recipes for a Contemporary Kitchen", Hugh Carpenter, Stuart, Tabori and Chang, N.Y., 1988. ISBN 1-55670-333-3.