Yesterday’s exciting food included a croissant for breakfast and an SNCF sandwich, a small bottle of rosé, a chocolate brownie and a mug of coffee during a mammoth eight-hour train journey across France.

It took a while for me to respond to the alarm this morning, so the best I could muster was a croissant for a late breakfast and some bread and butter for an even later lunch. In the evening, I was invited to have food with a friend as I didn’t get much in the way of shopping opportunities this morning.

A friend had given him some chard which she didn’t know what to do with. He had some left-over chicken and a few other bits and pieces and stir-fried them in a wok. Towards the end there was a mixture of water, cornflour, spices and other bits that went in but I didn’t pay that much attention. We had it with left-over spicy rice.

For the sauce:

  • Four teaspoons of Tamari or light soy sauce
  • Two teaspoons of rice vinegar
  • Two teaspoons of rice wine
  • One teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Half a teaspoon of chilli paste
  • One level teaspoon of cornflour
  • Half a teaspoon of sugar
  • Four tablespoons of chicken stock or water
  • Good pinch of Chinese five spice powder

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

  • Half inch of ginger, shredded
  • One clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • One medium carrot, sliced diagonally
  • One courgette, sliced diagonally
  • Four large white chard stems, sliced thickly
  • One medium onion, quartered with the layers separated

Heat the wok, then add one tablespoon of peanut oil. Heat until smoking, then quickly stir-fry the left-over rice. We added some peas because we weren’t sure whether there would be enough rice for two. Set aside and keep warm.

Wipe the wok clean, then reheat and add two tablespoons of peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the carrots, stir-fry for a minute, then add the courgettes and do the same. Add the chard sticks and onions and stir-fry a little longer. When you are happy, add a good pinch of five spice powder, and stir, then pour in the sauce mixture, toss, and stir-fry for another minute. The sauce should begin to thicken, at which point you can add the chopped left-over chicken and stir it to heat it through. Serve over the rice.

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