Stir Fry

May 6, 2010

Fry Fix

The other evening I was dragging myself home from work. I don’t mean to overstate it but, if one could, literally, drag one’s self around, that’s how I got myself home. There was no lightness in my step and I was exhausted. Between work and home there are about 598 little restaurants, they are hard to resist. Everything from ramen to curry, sushi and deep fried. How easy to sit down and order something not very healthy. I needed a fix, some energy, some colour, something to combat the scurvy. With great effort I hauled myself into a little produce shop and was wowed by the bright reds, yellows, greens and oranges. Okay, I could do this. Maybe just pick out a few things and make… Oh, God… What? This was taking too much energy. Okay, okay. Maybe I could just chop up a few things and… Of course, I could make a stir fry. Toss some tofu in for protein. Yes, good idea. It’s been ages since I’ve made a stir fry. So I picked out some bright vegetables and brought them home (in a somewhat less draggy mood) and started chopping. And chopping. I, as usual, got a bit carried away. A stir fry has a way of becoming huge in no time at all. Soup does that, too. To make a stir fry you don’t particularly need a recipe. Here’s what I did, if you particularly want a recipe.

Serves: A small crowd, or two for three days

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

2 medium onions, slivered

2 ribs of celery, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cups of broccoli florets

4″ piece of ginger, slivered

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup chicken stock

1 small zucchini, chopped

4 mushrooms, sliced

1 small head of sui choy cabbage, shredded

1 red bell pepper, sliced (I forgot to add mine, I found it later by the side of the sink. The red slices would have looked pretty in the photo. Bummer)

2 large handfuls of bean sprouts

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 block of medium tofu, cubed

1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce

drizzle of sesame oil

toasted sesame seeds or nuts, such as toasted almond slices, optional

1 dollop of roasted chili paste, optional

Heat grape seed oil over high heat in a large frying pan or wok. When oil is just beginning to wisp and shimmer, add onions and celery, they will sizzle and crackle. Add carrot slices and continue to sizzle, tossing continuously. Add broccoli and ginger. Now the pan will be full of crisping vegetables and the smell of fresh ginger will hit the air, maybe some of the vegetables will scorch and stick to the pan, just scrape them off. Throw in the sea salt and add the stock, it will simmer quickly. Toss in the zucchini, mushrooms, shredded cabbage, red pepper (should you recall that it’s sitting patiently by the sink) bean sprouts, lemon zest and juice. Stir fry for a few more moments and carefully turn in the cubed tofu. Stir together gently with the tamari soy sauce. Turn off heat, everything should be hot and crisp, the vegetables will be releasing their liquid. Now, drizzle in the sesame oil (one of the best, most intoxicating smells ever: close your eyes, lean in and inhale the waft of toasty sesame oil scented steam) and add the sesame seeds or nuts, if using. Man up and add a dollop of roasted chili paste. Serve immediately. Eat the next day and the day after that, cold, for lunch. And stop dragging yourself around.

PS – By all means, use lots of garlic. I didn’t buy any and mine at home had turned spongey from neglect, so I didn’t use it. But I would have if I had some. Add it along with the ginger.


One Response to “Stir Fry”

  1. Debra said

    Always love fresh vegetables but I think the dollop of chile paste won me over. I would add lots of garlic, too.

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