Stir-fry is one of those things that I love to make because it can change all the time. Other than a couple of things (like this salad) I’m rarely a creature of habit when it comes to food. My squeeze can eat the same thing every single day and be happy with it. I’m… not that way. With stir-fry, there are all kinds of different sauces, veggies and proteins you can put in it to change it up. This is a good basic recipe because I always have the items for the sauce on hand and you can make it only if you have a couple of veggies on hand too. Just when you think you don’t have anything to eat for dinner — voila!
• 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil (I usually use a combo of whatever’s handy — sesame, ginger, safflower, olive, whatever)
• 4 tsp. cornstarch
• 6 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 c. water
• 1+ tsp. ginger powder (or fresh ginger, see below)
• Any veggies you like!
• Red pepper flakes
• 1-2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
I first heat about 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok or large frying pan. I try to start small because we rarely need as much oil as it seems we will! For a little kick, I’ll sometimes sprinkle in some red pepper flakes and let them fry in the oil for bout 15 to 30 seconds.
If you are using a protein — whether it’s drained tofu, tempeh, chicken, etc., I’d do that first, remove it from the pan, add another tablespoon of oil and proceed as follows. Last night, I went for it with just veggies.
After the oil is heated (and pepper flakes in there, if using) I add minced garlic and saute quickly. Have your veggies chopped up and ready to go in! Last night when I made this, I couldn’t find my ginger powder that normally goes in the sauce mixture for the life of me, so I minced up about 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger and added it at this time too.
Next add your veggies. I try to add the ones that take a little longer to cook first — carrots, broccoli, green beans. Then add the others: onion (either chopped white or, as I had last night, green onions), mushrooms and softer vegetables. One thing I love about my market I normally go to is the items they have in bulk. I was able to buy one large carrot, a small handful of green beans, a small handful of snowpeas — that way you can have a little bit of everything.
Cook all your veggies until they seem tender crisp, but not quite done yet (not rocket science here — you can always cook as long as you need in the end). Whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, water and ginger powder (if using) and add to pan. Cook, stirring often until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. I usually find about 5 minutes is sufficient.
And that’s it! Once you have the veggies chopped, it takes about 15 minutes to make — coincidentally the exact same amount of time it takes to make a nice fluffy pot of quinoa to serve it over, so you don’t have to wait around 45 minutes for rice.