Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How do I make an easy stirfry?

Stirfried Carrots, Zucchini, and Kale with Shrimp and Peanuts

Simple Stir Fry Sauce

1/4 Cup soy sauce
2 Teaspoons rice vinegar
1 Teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 Inch grated ginger
1 Clove grated garlic
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1. Simply combine the ingredients in a container and shake it up.
2. In a hot skillet saute about two cup of your favorite veggies. Once they're cooked to your liking, add the well-shaken sauce and stir until thickened. About one to two minutes.

This is a great simple sauce to whip up if you're in the mood for some Asian flare. It's open to a lot of variations and the cornstarch gives is a very authentic and delicious "crappy Chinese food" feel.

The sauce itself is a simple combine and stir. Here's the great thing about it. Although it's great on its own, to this concoction you can add almost any Asian ingredient to take it in a different direction. Fish sauce, cilantro and lime will take you to Thailand. Fermented chili and shredded kimchi to Korea. A splash of mirin and a touch of honey is your ticket to teriyaki town. A protein like chicken, shrimp or tofu is great. Even just a handful of cashew pieces will take this to the next level.

For the veggies, feel free to use whatever you like or what seems appropriate. Just don't go over board, keep it to three or four vegetables (not counting onions which are a given) . Too many will mess with your cooking time, leaving you with some raw and some mushy.*

To execute the process, get your skillet screamin' hot and add enough oil to coat the pan. (2 1/2 tablespoons for mine) Heat the oil until it shimmers. Toss in your veggies, and stir them constantly until they're just softened. Hot is important, to roughly compare, your skillet is over a 15,000 btu (British thermal units) flame, 20,000 if your lucky; a wok in Asia is scorched by 120,000 btu's. Thin slicing will aid in quick and even cooking.

Shimering oil leaves thin trails on the side and shows a ripply (shimering) surface

Pour in the sauce and stir constantly while it thickens add cooked protein if you have it. Enjoy the whole thing over some rice.

* If you do want to use a million different vegetables, consider sauteing to them to perfection separately and them combining them in the sauce.
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