Stir-fry takes advantage of spice combination

The exotic flavors of Chinese five-spice powder delicately glaze the ingredients for this stir-fry.

The pungent mixture of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed and Szechwan peppercorns creates an intriguing flavor in many Chinese dishes. You can use it to add a new flavor to other rice or vegetable dishes.

Most Asian dishes have several ingredients, but once they’re assembled they take only a few minutes to cook.

This stir-fry takes only six to seven minutes once in the wok. You can even prepare the ingredients the night before for a quick dinner the next day.

This meal contains 537 calories per serving with 30 percent of calories from fat.

Five-Spice Stir-Fry

For sauce:

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth, divided use

1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon low-salt, soy sauce

For stir-fry:

1 tablespoon slivered almonds

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup sliced yellow onion

1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1/2 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup sliced baby bello or other mushrooms

1 cup drained, canned, whole baby corn, cut in half

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix 1/4 cup chicken broth, vinegar, five-spice powder garlic, and soy sauce together. Set aside.

Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add almonds and toss until golden, about 20 seconds. Set aside on a plate.

Add oil to wok and heat over high heat until smoking. Add onion, red bell pepper and carrots and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add pork, mushrooms and corn and stir-fry 2 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl.

Add broth mixture to the wok and boil 1 minute. Stir cornstarch into the remaining 1 tablespoon broth, and add to the wok. Boil to thicken sauce, about 30 seconds.

Remove wok from heat. Add stir-fried ingredients and toss to coat with sauce. Serve with rice and sprinkle almonds on top.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 317 calories (31 percent from fat), 10.9 grams fat (1.6 gram saturated, 5.7 grams monounsaturated), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 30.2 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 4.7 grams fiber, 486 milligrams sodium.

Quick Brown Rice

1 package microwaveable brown rice (1 1/2 cups cooked rice needed)

2 teaspoons canola oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make brown rice according to package instructions. Measure 1 1/2 cups and save the rest of the rice for another dinner. Add oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 220 calories (29 percent from fat), 7.1 grams fat (0.7 gram saturated, 3.6 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.8 grams protein, 29.3 grams carbohydrates, 1.5 gram fiber, 11 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks. Visit her webpage at www.DinnerIn Minutes.com or email her at Linda@DinnerIn Minutes.com.

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