Today I am returning to Hong Kong, both happier and heavier than when I set off two weeks ago. I have shopped, gossiped and eaten to my hearts content.
As always at the moment of departure, I’m feeling very conflicted: I’m excited about getting back to my normal life (especially the gym!), but sad to be leaving my favourite people, and indeed favourite shops, behind.
This dish seems like a fair reflection of my current state, a delightful mixture of British and Asian. Truly the best of both worlds!
Oriental Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 4-6, from Simon Rimmer’s The Seasoned Vegetarian
For the topping:
350g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
75g vegan margarine/spread
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
For the filling:
115g carrots, sliced
vegetable oil for frying
12 spring onions, thickly sliced
350g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
100g water chestnuts, sliced
1 tbsp chopped coriander
For the sauce:
2.5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
300ml vegetable stock
150ml red wine
75ml light soy sauce
1. For the topping, cook the sweet potato in a pan of lightly salted boiling water until soft. Drain and mash with the spread.
2. While the potato is boiling, get started on the sauce. Quickly stir fry the ginger, garlic and chilli.
3. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, bring to the boil and cook for ten minutes.
4. Blanch the carrot slices in a pan of shallow water for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Remove from the pan and drain. Preheat the grill.
5. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the spring onions until slightly charred.
6. Add the mushrooms, carrots and water chestnuts, and stir fry for a few minutes.
7. Stir in the coriander and pour in the sauce.
8. Divide between 4-6 individual pie dishes.
9. Spoon the mash on top of the pies.
10. Cook under a pre-heated grill until golden, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.