Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Winter Veg Stir-Fry

by Jules Clancy from Five Ingredients, Ten Minutes

The warming Chinese five spice is the key to this easy stir fry recipe. Rustled up in minutes, this wintry vegetable stir fry goes towards your five a day.

From the book


The real driving force behind the wintry vibe of this dish is the Chinese five-spice. It’s a blend of, you guessed it, five spices: cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel and black pepper. If you can’t find it, you could make your own by combining equal parts of the above, or just use twice as much black pepper as cinnamon to make a simpler version.

Read more Read less


1–2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin batons
¼ of a white or Chinese cabbage, sliced into ribbons
300g firm tofu, sliced
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
2-3 tbsp soy sauce


Heat a wok on a fierce heat.

Add a little oil and stir-fry the carrots until browned.

Add the cabbage and stir-fry for a few minutes or until just starting to soften.

Add the tofu and stir-fry for another few minutes or until tofu is hot.

Stir in five-spice and season with a generous splash of soy.


Carnivore: replace the tofu with finely sliced chicken thighs or steak. Stir-fry the meat first until just cooked and then remove to a clean bowl. Continue as per the recipe and add the meat at step 4.

Herby: serve sprinkled with flat-leaf parsley or mint.

Hot! Add a few finely sliced red chillies with the tofu.

Different veg: brussels sprouts are lovely cooked like this, but also consider parsnips, turnip or swede. Tougher root veg may need to be simmered before stir-frying.

Soy-free: replace the soy sauce with fish sauce or oyster sauce, and replace the tofu with chicken, beef or pork, or a very large handful of roasted cashews or almonds.


Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week