Recipe: Chinese Savoury Mince

Charlotte’s Chinese Savoury Mince with green veggies
Suitable for Attack, and PV (leave out the vegetables for a PP day)
serves 3 hungry people or 4 not-so-hungry people


  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1kg extra lean beef mince
  • a head of brocolli, chopped into wee bits (whatever size you like – I go fairly small)
  • a packet of mangetout/snowpeas, chopped into 2 cm lengths (or again, however you like it)
  • 1 whole celery, chopped into ¾ cm lengths
  • 1 bag of rocket or baby spinach (which ever you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons of Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 chicken and 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 tbsp corn flour, added to a half cup of water to dissolve it
  • A dash of browning (I’ve only come across this in the UK, not in Aus.  It basically does what it says on the tin – changes the colour of things to make them a little browner and tastier looking.)
  • A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon of chipotle powder, or chilli powder.  More if you’re game, less if you’re not.
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I like using A Vogel’s vegetable salt – seriously tasty)
  • a couple of pinches of MSG, provided that you’re not one of those unfortunates who gets a migraine from it


  1. sweat the garlic and onions in a large pot
  2. add the beef mince, breaking up all the large bits.  Cook till all is browned
  3. Add the stock cubes (just crush them, don’t bother diluting in water) the Chinese Five Spice, salt, pepper, stir until it’s all blended in
  4. Add the remaining vegetables and keep stirring
  5. mix the cornflour in with the water, and add to the pot.  The mix will get a bit sticky and saucy at this point – if it gets too thick, just add some more water.  It doesn’t matter if you add too much, you can just cook a bit longer until it evaporates off.
  6. Add the browning (just a little at a time, you don’t want to over brown it!) and the Worcestershire sauce
  7. stick the lid on the pot and turn down the heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are at the desired level of softness
  8. Add a bag of rocket or baby spinach, and stir in.  This should go soft really quickly.
  9. Turn off the heat and add a few pinches of MSG.  Never add MSG while you’re still cooking – it’s not heat stable and will break down.  I’ve heard that it’s this that causes headaches in people – but I never get a headache from it. But more importantly, you’ll ruin the flavour enhancing properties of it, which is a Bad Thing.
  10. Serve immediately.
I love this stuff. It freezes really well too – I always try to make a double batch.  You can also leave out all the vege except the garlic and onion, and this makes an excellent PP meal. Or you can put in whatever vege you like.


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