There is really nothing exceptional about this particular recipe. The important thing about it is how to construct your own stir fry from whatever you have around the kitchen. There are several important things to remember when creating a tasty stir fry:
- Make sure all the items you’ll be putting in have been cut up before you begin. Just like on the tv shows when they have everything in their little bowls.
- The size of each piece should be the same. This is most important within ingredient. For instance, all the pieces of carrot need to be the same size. This ensures that the pieces of an ingredient cook at the same rate.
- Place each ingredient in the wok/skillet according to how long each takes to cook. One ingredient doesn’t need to finish cooking before another is added, but if onions take seven minutes to cook and snow peas only take two, then the snow peas should be added about five minutes after the onions. The following list is a general guideline for the order to throw in your ingredients, starting with the first:
- carrots, garlic
- fresh ginger
- mushrooms, cabbage, firm tofu
- peppers, summer-type squash (zucchini, yellow squash), broccoli, asparagus
- snow pea or sugar snap pea pods, green beans (fresh), green onion, baby corn, water chestnuts
- peas, corn kernels, tomato, spinach
- rice, pasta
You can use as many types of veggies as you have around the house. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you find something you think would taste good, just think about how long it would take you to saute it on its own and then think about where that would fit in relative to your other ingredients. You can even use leftover canned or frozen veggies. The peas I used in this recipe were leftover from another meal.
Also, leftover rice works best for stir fried dishes. It’s not as wet as freshly made rice and absorbs flavor nicely. I always make extra rice and use the leftover in my wok a couple days later.
Here’s my recipe, but ad lib at will.
Cooking and prep time: one hour (Chopping takes a long time but everything cooks in about ten or twelve minutes.)
- 2 carrots
- half a large onion
- one medium red bell pepper
- half a package of mushrooms (about 4 oz.)
- one garlic clove
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, diced
- 1/3 cup peas
- 2 eggs
- vegetable oil, about 1 tbsp
- 1 cup rice
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp good soy sauce, preferably low-sodium (NOT LaChoy!)
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp chili sauce such as Sriracha (or more to taste)
- Chop all veggies into pieces about the same size. You may need to adjust to irregularly shaped veggies. For instance, I like my mushrooms quartered, so I quartered all the small ones first. However, if I quartered the large ones, the pieces would be bigger than the other mushroom pieces. So I chopped the larger mushrooms into sixths.
- Heat your wok to moderately high heat. Put your hand in the pan about one and a half to two inches from the bottom. When your hand feels hot, add cooking oil. Important: you need less oil than you think because the veggies have moisture in them. Start with about one tbsp and add more later on only if you need it.
- Add the veggies. Onions first. They will need to cook for a minute or two before adding the carrots and garlic, so take this opportunity to crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble them with one tbsp of water. After the carrots and garlic have cooked a little over a minute throw in the ginger. After a minute, add the mushrooms. Mushrooms have a high water content, so they’ll need to cook for a couple of minutes before adding the bell peppers. While the mushrooms cook, use a small bowl to mix together the lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and chili sauce. Mix briskly to emulsify the sauce. After the bell peppers have cooked for a minute, throw in the peas.
- Give the peas just one turn around the pan. Then push all the veggies to the sides of the wok so that the bottom of the pan is empty. Add the scrambled eggs. Allow to sit for a minute before beginning to push them around. Try not to push too close to the edge of the pan so that the veggies don’t get coated in egg. It should only take a few minutes to cook the eggs.
- Add the rice and turn the heat off the wok, but leave the pan on the burner. Give the rice a few stirs until heated. Give the sauce another whisk to make sure it’s mixed well, then pour over the stir fry. Remove the pan from the burner and mix the meal thoroughly. It’s important to remove the pan from the heat once the sauce is in because the sugars can scorch.