Moroccan Mince With Couscous

Moroccan Mince (10)

For me this is a rare foray into the world of Quorn, but imitation meat is all the rage in the vegetarian restaurants of Hong Kong.  In my own kitchen I prefer dishes that let the vegetables shine, but I quite like the occasional bit of fake meat in restaurants here as it provides my only opportunity for trying the local delicacies (or imitations of them, at least – the “meat” tastes pretty authentic to me, but I haven’t tasted the real thing for 18 years so I’m probably not an accurate judge).

King Wah 1

The first vegetarian Chinese food I ever tasted was not quite so ambitious or refined as the imitation meat:  it came from this charming establishment, the New King Wah Curry House, a little takeaway in an alley behind a fishing boat/car park in my home town, Redcar.  Greasy fried rice and crispy spring rolls were my favourites when we called in for family special occasions – mock meat was not on the menu.

King Wah 2

I don’t think I ever imagined back then that I’d end up living in this neck of the woods!

Moroccan Mince With Couscous

Slightly adapted from BBC GoodFood, serves 4-5

Ingredients:

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1-2 onions, roughly chopped

350g pack Quorn mince

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground turmeric

75g dried apricots, quartered

4 tomatoes, chopped

600ml vegetable stock

For the couscous:

280g couscous

450ml boiling water

zest of 1 lemon

4 tbsp mint leaves, chopped

50g cashews, toasted under the grill

Method:

Moroccan Mince (1)

1.  Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for about 5 minutes until soft.

Moroccan Mince (2)

2.  Add the spices and stir through for another minute.

Moroccan Mince (3)

3.  Then tip in the mince and stir until everything is well combined and coated with spice.

Moroccan Mince (5)

4.  Add the tomatoes and apricots, then pour in the stock.

Moroccan Mince (6)

5.  Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

Moroccan Mince (7)

6.  Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to packet instructions – basically by pouring the water over the couscous.  Fork through the lemon zest and mint leaves.

Moroccan Mince (8)

7.  Serve the couscous and mince, scattered with cashews.

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