Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stir Fry Veggies

We have attempted stir fry on several occasions- we even have a really pretty wok to cook in- but it usually ends up soggy and the flavor is never right. So, as always, we try, try, again. This meal SHOULD be really easy, quick, and delicious. I will not give up!! So here we are, live blogging the latest attempt:


2 cloves garlic
5 scallions, whites and light greens
approx. 1 tblsp grated ginger

The best stir-fry will mix vegetables that have different textures- some type of leafy green, then a softer vegetable, and crisper ones:

Greens: bok choy, napa cabbage
Red or green pepper, zucchini or squash, mushrooms
green beans, broccoli, snap peas, carrots
asian: water chestnuts, baby corn
peanuts or cashews

Prepare all the vegetables so that they are cut into same-sized pieces, this is key to regulate cooking time!

*Sauce (Adapted from Dean and Deluca)
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon siracha/ chili sauce (To taste, this stuff gets spicy fast, predominantly on the back end!)
pinch sugar
black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
sprinkle sesame seeds
chicken stock
2 tsp soy sauce

Dilute 1 tsp cornstarch with a little water until milky, mix in to sauce. Set aside

Cooking directions:

Step one: Heat up the wok. Put in 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. BE WARNED: it gets hot and you will probably get spattered- careful. Test to see if the oil is hot enough but flicking a little drop of water in it from your finger- it will crackle when ready.

Step two: Add in the garlic, scallion, and ginger. Cook until fragrant. Mash down into the oil to release the fragrance.

Step three: Once the garlic, ginger and scallion are ready, add in your thickest vegetables- in our case, broccoli and green beans- and then add in chicken broth and allow to simmer until veggies soften.

TIP: Push veggies out to side of wok to maintain even cooking.

Step Four: Add in softer veggies- red bell pepper and yellow squash, and bok choy. Allow to cook down, move to sides to make a central space in the middle. If veggies are drying out, add in a little more broth.

Step five: Pour sauce into oil in the space in the center (add a bit more if all burned off), allow to boil and thicken, and then stir quickly together with the veggies, turn off heat and serve.

RESULTS: This time, we were really quite pleased! It took about 5 minutes total cook time, the veggies were nice and crisp, the sauce was really flavorful- and our new technique of creating a well for the sauce to boil in and THEN mixing with the veggies solved our soggy problem. Also, reducing the use of oil and adding in chicken stock to keep the veggies moist really added a nice flavor and kept the veggies from getting that slick oily gross-ness.

Next time, we talked about going even heavier with the chicken stock, as well as possibly sprinkling a little bit of orange as a citrus flavor over the veggies. We might also experiment with asian noodles!

We like to put our stir fry over jasmine rice~!

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