There is something akin to meditation in finely hand chopping lots of lovely fresh ingredients, laying them out in little bowls and then cooking them really quickly. When I make a dish like that I rarely use the thermomix. I like to do it all by hand, even mincing meat where necessary. It is a quietly joyous form of food prep which perfectly suited my frame of mind last night.

A Stir Fry
1 shallot, finely chopped
300g topside, thinly sliced
2 yellow chilli, thinly sliced
2 cm piece of ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup soaked shitake mushrooms, sliced, liquid drained and reserved
1/2 cup chopped mixed coriander and Vietnamese mint
2 carrots, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned
handful green beans, top and tailed
bunch baby silver beet
2cm pickled galanga, finely chopped
2 tablespoon rice bran oil
Chinese dried noodles, soaked

Flavouring Sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar
juice 1 lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoon caramel sauce
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
liquid from mushrooms

Combine all flavouring sauce ingredients and add half the ginger and garlic.

Heat oil in wok. Add remaining garlic and ginger and shallots. Cook for 1 minute. Add chilli and cook for another minute. Add meat, mushrooms and galanga. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until meat has browned. Add vegies and noodles, cook for another 3 minutes. Add flavouring sauce and cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Take off heat and stir through spring onions and herbs.