Stir and fry, two things I love to do in the kitchen. Put them together and you have enough combinations to rival Bubba’s shrimp list from Forrest Gump. Today we’re doing Veggie Stir Fry, but there’s Shrimp Stir Fry, Beef Stir Fry, Pork Stir Fry, Stir Fry Noodles, Stir Fry Tofu, really so many sweet and savory and spicy combinations.
But what is the difference between a good stir-fry and a WTF did you do to this stir-fry? It’s a question of the order in which the ingredients were added into the wok, or stir-fry pan. Meat, always first and sauce always last and in between you have to respect the order in which each vegetable takes to cook, properly. So you get maximum nutrients and texture, and not just a salty mushy forkful of what used to be perfectly brilliant veggies.
Just like you wouldn’t expect all men or women to warm up with the same foreplay or in the same time, harder vegetables like broccoli and carrots take longer to cook than let’s say mushroom and scallion. If you don’t respect the order, then you get undercooked and overcooked everything. And no texture in your mouth.
I’m glad I got that out. And medium flame, all the way, or your vegetables will think it is in a sauna and not in a wok where they belong. It’s Goldiflames, where the flame too low will make your vegetables shrivel in it’s own pool of veggie sweat and flame too high will burn their pour souls. You don’t want to hurt vegetables do you?
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Simple Veggie Stir Fry Recipe (Vegetables in clockwise cooking order starting at 12 o’clock)
½ pound broccoli (trimmed and a little bigger than bite-sized rounds)
1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
½ an onion (thinly sliced)
1 clove garlic (thinly sliced)
1 stalk scallion (thinly chopped), to throw on top at the end
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce OR Teriyaki, fish sauce, etc.
1 teaspoon sugar
~ I personally swear by Oyster Sauce It’s what my mother used growing up. Not strong at all but adds some fullness to everything, brings it together. Unless you have a seafood allergy, then it’s a no-no.
~ And If you’re new to scallion there’s an easy prep step, in this Home Alone Udon Noodle Soup recipe.
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1. Preheat your wok or stir-fry pan over a medium flame, erring on the side of high just to be safe. When it’s hot, add your oil. Heat the oil.
2. Toss in your broccoli and stir every other minute for three minutes, cooking as evenly as you can.
3. Add your sliced peppers and cook for two minutes, stirring once.
~ If you are comfortable with tossing your veggies in your wok with a few strong flicks of the wrist, go ahead. I believe that works best for even cooking, but a good long wooden spoon or a pair of wooden chopsticks work too. Be kind to your pans, and also try not to bruise the vegetables during stir fry.
4. Add your onions, and stir fry until the onions start looking translucent.
5. This is where you’re going to add your sauce. Whatever sauce it is that you decide to use. In this recipe it’s a combination of the soy sauce and oyster sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. But whatever you have handy that is stir-fry worthy works too.
6. Leave the veggies and sauces on the flame for a few minutes, until you are ready to get them in your mouth, and serve.
~ On this particular evening, I actually went with a Thai red curry sauce with catfish prepared in a skillet, with white rice. But you really can go a lot of places with this very Simple Veggie Stir Fry Recipe. Just respect the order of the vegetables you are using, whether it’s three or six, and you’ll be fine!