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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

veggie stirfry

yup, it's time for another installment in bothenook's "why i'm a fat bastard" series of recipes. of course, this one really doesn't fit that mold, but it could if you made about a quart of rice and ate it with this meal, along with a couple of big bottles of chinese Tsingtao beer, and perhaps a big box of chocolates. preferably scharffen berger chocolates. i'm not being a snob. scharffen berger chocolate is inarguably some of the finest chocolate made anywhere. even if it is made in san francisco.

so where was i? oh yeah. a totally veggie stir fry. hey, even a carnivore needs to eat some roughage now and then. and besides, i can come up with so many different meals to cook using the wok i could write my own cookbook. it would be boring, since the techniques are basically the same. but each variation brings a different taste and texture to the table. what's really good about this method of cooking is you can start with just about anything you might have in the fridge, and still come up with a quick and tasty meal.

  • 1 pound of green beans, cut bite sized on the diagonal
  • 3 small zuccinnis, quartered lengthwise, then chopped into fork accessible pieces
  • 3 yellow summer squashes, prepped the same as the zuke
  • 3 summer squashes ( you know the ones. they look like UFO's, squatty and round, with ruffled edges) cut into eighths
  • 4 stalks of celery, cut in half lengthwise, then chopped on the diagonal to make bite sized pieces
  • one bunch of asparagus. snap off the woody end, and cut into bite sized pieces
  • two red bell peppers, cut into thick strips and then chopped into you got it, bite sized pieces. i like red peppers so much that we don't even buy the green ones anymore. they are sweeter, and a lot more kid friendly. i'm not sure why kids will eat these and not green ones, but that has been my experience.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly minced
  • one finger ginger, peeled and minced finely. if you have one of those little ceramic ginger grater, all the better. the willams-sonoma one is a bit high end, but is an example of what i'm talking about. mine is a little 2x3 inch tile that looks kind of like an old school washboard
  • one white onion, cut into about 3/4 inch slices, then chopped to give you what class? that's right, bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup stir fry sauce. i've posted before that my favorite is yoshida's gourmet sauce, but there are others like joyce chen or even kikoman that work as well. just not as well as yoshida's!
  • peanut oil as needed in the wok to keep everything from sticking

take all your veggies, except the garlic, ginger, onion, and red pepper, and put in a steamer for about 10 minutes. if you don't the food will be either burned or almost completely raw at the end of the cooking process.
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once you have the steamer going, stir fry the onions and peppers together. you do this instead of steaming to bring out the sweetness in both.
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keep stir frying until the onions start to turn translucent. when you figure you have about 2 minutes left, toss in the ginger and 1/2 of the stir fry sauce. this is what they look like just before adding the sauce.
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you can see that the onions are just starting to carmelize. dump into a bowl, and then add the veggies to the wok.
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stirfry until you start to see a little color on the asparagus. it will probably cook first. as soon as it shows the veggies are about there, toss in the other half of the sauce and the garlic. i usually like to add the garlic to the onions when i'm first starting out, but it's easy to burn, which gives the dish a bitter taste. adding it near the end leaves the garlic sweet, aromatic, and without a hint of bitterness. toss for a minute or so, then add back the onions and pepper/ginger mix. toss for about 30 seconds, then remove from the stove.

this is what it's all about:
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this is easy, quick, and with the exception of the sauce you use, pretty low in calories, as long as you keep the peanut oil use under control.

as always, if you try this recipe, or it inspires you to try something different, please let me know how it turned out. i'm always looking for fresh and clever ideas to improve my own cooking skills and recipes.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here


Blogger bhd said...

You're cooking electric? With a wok like that? My hat is off to you, my friend. You are a kitchen god.

5/30/05, 11:59 AM  
Blogger bothenook said...

ah, grasshopper. now you know why i rely heavily on the steamer.
and i have had LOTS of practice. when we start in on the kitchen, one of the first things going in will be a gas range with a built in wok ring and high output burner.
of course, i'll probably mess everything up then.

5/30/05, 2:39 PM  
Blogger Rachelle Jones said...

Great now I am hungry for asparagus, and not the kind from the store, nice fresh home grown asparagus!

6/3/05, 9:02 PM  
Blogger StarTreck said...

I just tried this tonight, without the fancy wok or steamer, and it still turned out really great...thanks for the recipe...loved it, and even figured out how to make enough for two instead of the family reunion that the recipe seemed to be feeding....

11/19/08, 6:11 PM  

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