Anatomy of a Stir Fry

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lately I've been really busy and falling back on one of our kitchen regulars: the stir-fry. In 1/2 hour dinner's ready to go! They're perfect for those days when you don't have a lot of time, and a good way to get those  veggies into the diet.

Even E (that stealthy sabotager of salads) has succumbed to my evil persistence ~insert maniacal laughter~. The other day he picked up some bok choy from the supermarket and he ate it too. That's even better.

There are infinite ways you can create a stir fry, so let's dissect its basic anatomy!

The Tools
A deep frying pan or wok

The Vegetables
A combination of your favorite non leafy vegetables. I like to use whatever is fresh, or in season, or cheapest. If you're really time pressed, you can use frozen pre-cut vegetables.
Suggestions: zucchini, broccoli, carrots, celery, squash, peas, corn, asparagus, green beans, sugar peas, fava beans

The Aromatics
Take your pick or combine: garlic, ginger, onion

The Proteins (optional)
Non Meat Suggestions: almonds, cashews, peanuts, tofu
Meat suggestions: beef, chicken, pork (cut into strips or cubes)
Seafood suggestions: prawns, scallops, fish

The Sauce
Simple option 1: no sauce, simply use with garlic, oil, and season with salt/pepper.
Or any combination of: soy sauce, chili sauce, oyster sauce, hoysin sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and peanut butter (no joke, this is really good!), fish sauce, gourmet sauce

The Technique
  • Cut your vegetables into pieces roughly equivalent in size so that they cook in the same amount of time, but cut harder vegetables (like carrots) smaller than softer vegetables.
  • Heat a couple tablespoons of oil on high heat.
  • Add in your aromatic items.
  • Throw in your proteins and brown / cook mostly through.
  • Throw in all the vegetables.
  • Add sauce and stir once in a while, until the vegetables have changed color, and all the meat is cooked through.
  • You're done!
Serve with steamed rice. Simple yes? I'm hungry.
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