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Stir Fry

January 31, 2011

Stir Fry

Stir Fry is a staple in our household. Every Wednesday night before going to our yoga class we whip out the vegetables and whichever wok is clean and start cooking. We love it. It is fast, easy and delicious and we never tire of it because you can make stir fry in hundreds of ways.

If you are like me, your instincts tell you: “Brenda? Stir Fry? You can barely cook American food… out of the box. You don’t even like weird food! What are you thinking?” You see, when I was growing up, stir fry was a frozen packet of vegetables that was mainly onions and water chestnuts. We would pour said packet into an electric wok with soy sauce and a few cups of water (This, so that whomever was cooking would not have to watch it closely, and so that we would not use oil which was thought to be unhealthy).

  1. Boiled, soy sauce flavored onions and water chestnuts that happened to be made in a wok does not constitute as stir fry, not to mention that it tastes gross.
  2. Oil is good for you. It greases up your veins so that the blood flows through easier. Just kidding, but you need a certain amount of fat in your diet because, among other things, it helps you absorb the nutrients in vegetables. Olive Oil in stir fry, therefore, makes the stir fry healthier.

True stir fry, the kind of stir fry we make now, is delicious, healthy and easy. (Well, easy for most. I have still managed to burn and under-cook more stir fry in my day that you could imagine.)

Follow these simple steps for a basic, quick and easy stir fry that everyone will love:

Step 1: Rice/Noodles

We like to use rice or rice noodles as the base for our meal. These tend to take longer to cook, so start them before any of your stir fry prep. Rice makers are pretty cheap and quite handy, but if you are using your stove top, just remember 1 cup of white rice to 2 cups of water and 1 cup of brown rice to 2 1/4 cups of water. Cook until the water has been absorbed or until the rice is as soft as you like it to be.

Step 2: Vegetables

Cut up whichever fresh vegetables are in season or which ever vegetables that you love and can’t live without. We find that cabbage makes a great base and broccoli* absorbs a lot of moisture and flavor. In this stir fry, we also added carrots, cauliflower, bok choy and bean sprouts.

While chopping vegetables, we tend to add olive oil to the wok and turn the stove on high  for a minute or two. Waiting to add the veggies until the oil is hot helps them to remain firm while cooking. Be sure to use plenty of olive oil (especially when working with absorbent vegetables like broccoli) because it helps to avoid burning and adds flavor.

*Note: Peeling the broccoli stem makes it quite usable and tasty without any of the rubbery-toughness that made me hate broccoli as a child!

Step 3: Stir Frying

We then add our vegetables and stir regularly. Liz is a master chef and enjoys spinning the wok around and flipping the vegetables like Jamie Oliver, but I am not so skilled. If you are like me and would end up with more stir fry on the stove than in the wok, a wooden spoon works just fine.  It is while you are cooking that you will want to add any spices. We generally use soy sauce, ginger, cayenne pepper, onion powder and garlic.

Finally, after stirring a while, we “cheat” and turn the burner down a few notches and cover it with a pizza pan. It cooks a bit faster and we are impatient people. (Please excuse our stove top mess. Liz had just finished making Granola)

Step 4: Eat!

After cooking, we sometimes like to add a bit more flavor in the form of extra soy sauce, mustard, or sweet and sour sauce, but feel free to be creative and share your favorite stir fry toppings with us. We’re always looking for new ideas! Enjoy.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2011 3:31 pm

    Liz- I love this! I just made something similar the other night. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kristin permalink
    February 1, 2011 4:43 pm

    Ummm this blog is SICK (in a good way).
    Much love friendy friends.


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