Even though I’ve made Asian inspired foods a few times now, they’re still intimidating to me. Until I made this, I didn’t feel comfortable just “throwing some stuff together.” But making this stir fry made me realize that I have everything I need to make a good stir fry. And it doesn’t mean having a Wok – although that would help – OR a lot of oil, if you don’t want to use it.
Since stir fry should be an easy to make meal, I’m going to post this as ingredient suggestions rather than an actual recipe, with very simple instructions because frankly that’s what I wish I had when I first started.
First let me tell you what I think are essential ingredients for flavor:
That’s it! That’s all that’s actually essential. That is the basic, but you’re not going to get a very complex flavor from it and will probably feel like something is missing. So from there you can add:
Honey or Brown Sugar – if you tend to like sweeter stir-fry’s
Broth – if you like it saucy (yeah, baby!)
Sesame oil – Yum! Highly recommended – to me this is essential
Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar – Essential in our house
Crushed Red Pepper
Sriracha Chili Sauce – Also essential in our house
Corn Starch slurry – if you want a thicker sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce – Also essential in our house
Ok now, for the veggies –
If you’ve eaten Chinese food, you probably know which vegetables you like, but the idea is to simply chop them up about the same size. But here are some suggestions:
Sweet bell peppers
Sugar Snap Peas
Mung Bean Sprouts
Do you notice that I did not include water chestnuts? Those things are a freaking abomination!
So, what to do? I’m going to make this easy.
Heat your wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat, add some oil – peanut is suggested, but I always use olive (I use about a Tbsp for 4 servings, then steam the rest). Add the onion for about 30 – 60 seconds, then add the rest of the vegetables and cook until desired tenderness. I sautee briefly then add a few tablespoons of water and cover for a few minutes.
While it’s cooking, make your sauce mix. For example what we made was APPROX:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger
Some bullion (I don’t freaking know how much!)
2-3 Tbsp water
lots of garlic! About 5-7 cloves
2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
When the veggies are almost desired tenderness – which is usually in the tender crisp range, pour the mixture over it and cook for a few more minutes, being sure to toss to coat.
Top with tofu if you want and serve over steaming brown rice. 🙂 Nom.