Friday, April 20, 2012

stir fry day

Some meals end up on the dinner table here with great regularity. The simple, easy dishes that don't take too much thought. Easy pastasmacaroni and cheesefried rice, tons of different soupschicken and greens, and roasts and potatoes are all common dishes for us. The basics I fall back on.

Another basic that we do a lot is a simple stir fry. This is another one of those dishes that mostly consists of bits of this and that in the fridge. It's a meat-free meal I can sneak in under Bunny's radar, although it's not necessarily cheap. It's also a good place to use up bits of leftovers from the week (I can't tell you how many times a roast is re-incarnated in a stir fry here), and sometimes we stir fry just so that we can have frozen shrimp.

It's also a dish that lets me be a little bit lazy about my cooking, and do my prep in stages. Actually cooking this takes maybe ten minutes, start to finish, it's the prep that takes time. Oftentimes you'll find me around noon, peeling and chopping veggies for a stir fry; when I was working I'd do my chopping the night before. In the past I've always used the biggest lazy hack of all: bottled stir fry sauce. Which really does make this easier (or, more accurately, harder to mess up) but it's so much more fun playing with flavours on my own.

The vegetables in this dish are reflective of what Bunny and I keep in the fridge, and what we buy for stir fries. We've always got uses for carrots, onions and bell peppers so we always have them on hand. The great thing about a dish like this, though, is that you can use whatever you want. Have a zucchini? Replace one of your peppers with that. Want mushrooms? Throw them in. I love adding in baby bok choi, and I have a feeling that even some spinach might be nice added in at the end. If I had a can of baby corn I would toss it in this dish in a heartbeat.

Everyday Stir Fry

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  •  1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, cut to matchsticks
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • snow peas, one handful (yeah that's how I measured)
  • peanut or vegetable oil, for cooking
  1. In a small bowl, combine water, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, chili oil and lemon juice.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat cooking oil. When hot, add garlic, ginger and onions to the pan. Saute about 1 minute.
  3. Add carrots to the pan. Saute about 2 minutes. Add bell peppers, saute another 2-3 minutes. Finally add the snow peas. Saute a further minute.
  4. Add your sauce to the pan. Jumble everything around so that all your veggies get equally coated with the sauce. Keep this on the heat about one or two minutes.
  5. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy.

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