I cooked yesterday but didn't post the recipe. I was playing Game of Thrones RPG with some friends and didn't have time for blogging. Go ahead, say it. GEEK ALERT!!! Doggon right. :)
Anyway, on to what was for dinner. I made stir-fry. Stir-fry is one of those "use whatever you have" techniques. Don't worry about the specifics of what you have. Just concentrate on the technique. Stir-fry has three components:
Seasoning: This will be oil and and a flavoring you quick-fry at the beginning. Usually the flavoring is garlic, ginger, or a combination of the two. The seasoning should be finely minced.
Main Ingredients: Meat and veggies. Have the meat separate; you will cook that first. Veggies need to be divided by how quickly they cook. Slow cooking veggies are things like onions, carrots, and celery. Medium items would be brocoli crowns, peppers, mushrooms, green beans. Quick items would be greens and pea pods.
Sauce: This can be as simple as a couple of tablespoons of Oyster Sauce or as complex as a type of gravy. Usually what I do is take a cup of broth and add 2T corn starch and 1T soy sauce.
Add 2 -3 T oil to your wok. Turn the heat on high. Once the oil is hot, add minced garlic/ginger. Swirl with your wok paddle or a spatula. When you can smell the flavoring and it begins to brown a little, start adding the other ingedients.
Cook the meat first if you are using it. Allow the meat to brown, then scoop it out and place in dish. Let the oil drip from the meat back into the hot wok.
Add your tougher vegetables. Let these cook a couple of minutes. Let them get just a little tender-crisp, but not done. Keep the vegetables moving with your paddle.
Add the next group of vegetables. Cook another minute or so, stiring regularly. Add the last veggies. If the vegetables seem a bit slow to cook, add a little water and steam them. You can place the lid on the wok if your veggies seem very slow to cook, but this usually isn't necessary.
When the veggies look almost done, add back in the meat and your sauce mix. Stir and simmer until the sauce thickens. Serve with steamed rice.
Sprinkle a generous amount of Chinese Five Spice on your meat. Stir to coat the meat. Let it stand a few minutes. Add a little white wine and soy sauce and continue to marinade up to 30 minutes, then cook as normal. The left over marinade can be mixed into your sauce. This is AWESOME.
If you want to use dried shitake mushrooms, remember they need to be soaked in warm water about 30 minutes, then sliced.
You can use just about any vegetable in stir-fry. It is a great technique if you have little dabs of this and that coming from the garden. It is also great for those vegetables you get from a food bank. A little this and that works great with stir-fry.
If you want to use tofu in stir-fry, get something really firm and add it at the very end. Or deep fry the tofu separately, and add this right before serving.
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