My six-year-old loves to eat. In fact, I sometimes see her mouthing the words “What’s for dinner, mum?” as she exits the school gate at 3pm. Like her mother, she thinks about food all the time and is very opinionated about what she does and doesn’t like. I love that she enjoys many exotic and unusual flavours (although I fear I may have set her up with an expensive smoked salmon and buche d’affinois habit). But then she goes and surprises me with aversions to basic ingredients like rice. She’s hated it ever since she was a baby, can’t even stand the smell. I don’t get it.
The meal that is certain to make her crease her brow and scrunch up her nose? Stir-fry. The thing I find strange is that she will often happily eat all the components separately, and she likes Asian sauces. But the mere mention of the word stir-fry and she’s moaning and groaning and mumbling, “Mummy, can you cook something else for me?” And my answer to that question is always NO. I’m mean like that.
I was thrilled when she had a go at eating this minced beef stir-fry with basil. I wonder if it was the mince that made it look less like the normal stir-fries I serve? The good news is she ate the beef and the basil, but picked out any sign of zucchini or mushroom. I served it up with noodles, but rice would also work well (unless you’re feeding my daughter!).
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp crushed ginger (fresh or jar)
- 500g beef mince
- 440g rice or udon noodles (see tip)
- 4 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 cups assorted vegetables, finely diced (see tip)
- handful of fresh basil
- Heat oil in a large work over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic.
- Add beef mince and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until browned.
- Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to packet directions. Drain.
- Stir through oyster sauce and vegetables through mince and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Just before you remove wok from heat, add basil and mix gently. Serve with noodles.
Any sort of noodles would be fine here; simply soak in boiling water and you're good to go.
I use vegies such as zucchini, capsicum and mushrooms. I've also served the dish with snow-peas and broccoli for extra crunch.