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Big Zuu’s Sweet ‘N’ Sour Carrots

by Big Zuu from Big Zuu’s Big Eats

With a sweet, sour and salty glaze, these tender carrots with a toasted chilli and garlic panko make for a punchy side dish.

Introduction

When I made this, people started going crazy, like they’d never had a carrot properly seasoned. Now I share with you a great way to enjoy a root vegetable that is often overlooked.

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Ingredients

700g carrots, peeled, halved lengthways and sliced on the diagonal
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 red chillies, sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
75ml soy sauce
75ml maple syrup
3 tbsp malt vinegar
Handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
For the toasted chilli panko:
25ml vegetable oil
1 tsp chilli flakes
60g panko breadcrumbs
½ tsp garlic powder

Method

To make the toasted chilli panko, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chilli flakes and leave to infuse for 30 seconds before adding the panko and garlic powder. Stir the oil into the panko and keep moving around the pan gently, allowing the panko to toast to a lovely, even gold colour – 6–8 minutes.

Drain on some kitchen paper and set aside. This will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature.

To cook the carrots, cover with cold water in a saucepan, season with the salt and bring up to a simmer. Simmer for 5–8 minutes until just slightly tender, drain, cool slightly, then pat dry.

In a wok or large frying pan over a high heat, add the oil and then fry the carrots for about 2 minutes, allowing them to sit and caramelise on one side before turning and cooking the other side for a further 2 minutes. Add the garlic, chillies and spring onions and stir-fry for 1 minute before adding the soy, maple syrup and malt vinegar. Mix well and bring to a boil, allowing the liquid to reduce and become thick and glossy.

Serve topped with the toasted chilli panko and the coriander.

Zuu’s Hacks: Crispy panko is the way to go for extra crunch on salads, soups, and pasta. Use different spices and flavourings to change it up.

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