Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bruce's Veggie Stir-fry

Finished Stir-fry Plated
Bruce's Latest Stir-fry

Recipe by Bruce

My husband Bruce is the king of stir-frying, though he's quite modest if you ask him about it. Using a frighteningly high heat and an intimidatingly large wok, he cooks vegetables to perfection for any occasion. This most recent stir-fry was designed, as usual, to use up large quantities of veggies received from our CSA farm share. Because we were having Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Onion Relish, he chose to use more cider vinegar than usual, to stand up to the strong taste of the relish. Stir-frying must be done quickly, so vegetables remain crisp rather than turning soggy. To execute this properly, one must be completely prepared before cooking.

We had 1/2 can of water chestnuts left over from our Asia-Inspired Salad, but you could use a whole can.

Removing Veggies from Wok into Stainless Steel Pan
Removing Veggies before Wok-ing Mushrooms
Stir-fry Tips
  • Cut all veggies into approximately the same thickness to cook veggies evenly
  • Dry off all veggies and meat, fish, tofu, etc. after chopping and before cooking
  • Chop all veggies and meat (if using) before starting to cook
  • Place veggies and meat into easy-access containers before starting to cook
  • Group all veggies with the same cooking time into one container
  • Mix the sauce before starting to cook
  • Get all tools, foods, and utensils ready before beginning to cook
  • Keep heat as high as possible
  • Use a flat-bottomed wok
  • "Stir" constantly with two utensils during cooking, lifting veggies from the bottom (near the heat) to the top of the wok, ensuring even cooking (see photos)

Veggies Grouped into 3 Bins
Prepare and Group all Veggies First!
Bruce's Stir-Fried Vegetables
serves 8 or more

1 tbsp. tamari
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. plum sauce
1/2 tsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch

About 14 oz. total onions and garlic:
1 bunch scallions chop + green part of 1 spring onion
2 lg. stalks green garlic

About 1 lb. + 13 oz. other veggies:
1/2 lb. carrots
1/2 lb. oyster mushrooms
1/2 lb snap pea pods
1/2 can sliced water chestnuts
12 oz. broccoli

Other ingredients:
1 piece ginger, about 2 inches long
About 2 tbsp. mild cooking oil (B. uses canola)

Prepare veggies:
Chop spring onions and scallions into approximately 1 inch pieces. Slice green garlic in half lengthwise, then make approximately 3/8 inch slices. Put chopped onions and garlic together in one container (bin #1).

Chop carrots into approximately 3/8-inch pieces. Cut broccoli into florets about 1 inch long. Remove strings from pea pods. Peel ginger and slice into matchsticks about 1/4 inch by 5/8 inch. Put carrots, broccoli, snap pea pods, water chestnuts, and ginger into second container (bin #2).

Slice mushrooms into approximately 1 inch by 3/8 inch pieces. Put these into a third container (bin #3).

Prepare sauce:
In a small bowl, stir together tamari, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, plum sauce, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch.

Stir-fry Technique Part 1
Stir-fry 1: Slide Utensils down Hot Sides of Wok
Stir-fry Technique Part 2
Stir-fry 2: Lift Veggies from Hot Sides to Center
Heat wok on high. When hot enough for water to sizzle, add 1 tbsp. oil. Heat slightly, then add onions and garlic (bin #1). Stir-fry for 1 minute, constantly moving veggies from the bottom of the wok to the top (see photos).

Add ginger and all other veggies EXCEPT mushrooms (bin #2), and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Remove all veggies from wok to heatproof pan (we use stainless steel).

Reheat wok. Add 1 tbsp. oil then mushrooms (bin #3). Cook 30 seconds.

Add reserved veggies from the heatproof pan, then add prepared sauce and stir to mix. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds.

Serve immediately.

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