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Friday, March 23, 2012

Random Food Fridays - Basic Stir Fry

Here is another one of those basic techniques that can be adjusted in any number of ways. Stir fries and soups are both great ways to use up bits and pieces of veg at the end of the week.

 Tonight's stir fry included snow peas, daikon, asparagus, carrots, onion, garlic and ginger. 

I gave my wok to my daughter sometime last year. When I stir fry, I do it in a very hot cast iron skillet. The only disadvantage to a flat-bottomed pan vs. a wok is that the wok is designed for the liquid that is released by vegetables to collect at the bottom in the area of highest heat. I try to keep my stir fries a bit dry so that they don't over steam. The only items I would consider non-negotiable in this recipe are the garlic and ginger. That's the where the flavor is!

 Here are the veggies all prepared. All are small enough to cook at the same time. The other ingredients are peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and some mandarin orange marinade. My mom picked up the marinade from a farmer at the Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn. You could substitute any commercial teriyaki sauce. Sesame seeds get sprinkled over the finished dish.

My dinner! Yum!

I needed a little quick protein, so I added some frozen shrimps. I thawed them in water while preparing the veg. If you use them, add them at the very end, so they just get warmed through and do not over cook. When I make this with chicken, I like to marinate the chicken in the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mandarin marinade and sesame oil. Again, this is just a foundation for your to adjust to your tastes. Have fun and be brave! 

Basic Stir Fry
1 tbsp. peanut oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mandarin marinade or teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 cup snow peas
Some shreds of daikon
Some shaved carrot
5 or 6 asparagus, diagonally sliced
1 large green onion, or some other type of onion, sliced thin
1 cup shrimps 
Sesame seeds

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the peanut oil and sesame oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to coat with oil. Add all the veg and toss to coat with oil and distribute the garlic and ginger. Add the soy sauce and mandarin or teriyaki sauce. Continue to toss the veg in the hot pan until tender-crisp. Add the shrimp and toss until heated through. Remove to serving plate, leaving any excess liquid behind. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Makes one large or two medium sized servings.

Note: to make with chicken, cut up boneless, skinless chicken thighs and marinate in the soy sauce, mandarin or teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Heat the pan and add the peanut oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook until nearly done before adding the veg.

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