I love the delicate flavour of single-ingredient stir frying, showing the vegetable flavours off on their own. This method is a beautiful technique using both hot and lower heat settings, and patience, to gently develop the lovely taste that is unique to the red bell peppers. We were quite greedy — it was half of lunch with wok omelettes for two people, though of course you could make this as one of several dishes for a dinner for four. It also would tolerate being done a bit ahead, served warm, or even as an alternative method to roasting red bell peppers for use later in other dishes.
I treasure the calm attention this enforces – you continuously move the peppers around the wok to keep them cooking, not remaining in one spot long enough to scorch. These meditative moments are why I wok, why I love recipes and methods that are so rewarding for a home cook.
The startling short list of ingredients means that anytime you spot beautiful peppers, you can make this dish although I think it is special enough to make a cameo appearance on the holiday table. I used a neutral oil (avocado), tho I could see this being really interesting with one of the stir-frying oils from La Tourangelle (my favourite is the Thai Basil). As written, the tiny amount of salt and sugar at the end is all that is needed. I made this to accompany a simple wok omelette with egg and scallion and a splash of white soy sauce, frying up each in succession after removing the peppers from the wok.
This is one of the early recipes we are now cooking as Wok Wednesdays moves on from Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge to The Breath of a Wok, Grace Young’s award-winning love poem to the art of the wok. Please join us with your wok! This recipe can be found on page 143 of Breath. Wok Wednesdays is a cooking group on Facebook with over 2,000 members worldwide, and a terrific example of the kindness of cooking for others.