Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bruce's Veggie Stir-fry II

Large Bowl of Stir-fried Veggies with Purple Carrots and Broccoli
Bruce's Latest Veggie Stir-fry

Recipe by Bruce

“Shall I stir-fry?” says my husband’s note to me while I’m on the phone with my East Coast sister around our West Coast dinnertime. I nod enthusiastically and give the thumbs-up sign. Who could turn down such an offer from the humble king of stir-frying? In addition to the purple carrots, broccoli, mei qing choi and green garlic from our CSA farm share, he used some frozen packaged shitake mushrooms approaching their expiration date.

Purple carrots, we found out, are rather problematic in soups as they turn the broth and light-colored ingredients (like shrimp) blackish. Adding lemon juice changed the broth to an interesting purple color, but the purplish-greyish shrimp did not look appetizing. However, the carrots behaved themselves better in the stir-fry, as they were fried quickly and with little liquid. Substitutions: you could use orange or yellow carrots, or substitute bok choy or other Chinese green for the mei qing choi.

As always, stir-frying is most successful when a few stir-fry rules from my previous post are followed. Most important: chop all veggies to equal thickness, dry off all ingredients before stir-frying, and prepare all veggies and sauce before you start cooking. Also, remove stir-fry from wok to serving dish promptly after cooking, so it doesn't overcook in the hot wok.
Stir-fry in Progress: Carrots, Broccoli, Onions & Garlic
Bruce’s Stir-Fry II
serves 4

½ bunch of purple carrots
1 large bunch broccoli
3 medium scallions
2 small stalks green garlic
2 large heads mei qing choi
1 8-oz. package frozen sliced shitake mushrooms, thawed

1 tbsp. rice vinegar
½ tsp. sesame oil
¼ tsp. hot chili oil
½ tsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. plum sauce

Oil for Stir-fry:
1 tbsp. canola or peanut oil

Prep veggies: 
Slice carrots into 3/8-inch pieces. Separate broccoli stems from florets, and chop stems into 3/8-inch pieces. Dry off carrots and broccoli stems with kitchen towel and put into a container (bin #1).

Cut or break broccoli florets into approximately 1-inch pieces. Slice scallions and green garlic into 3/8" pieces. Dry off broccoli florets, scallions, garlic, and mei qing choi, and put into second container (bin #2).

Slice mei qing choi into 3/8-inch strips, cutting across the stalk and leaf. Dry off with kitchen towel and put into third container (bin #3).

Drain shitake mushrooms thoroughly, and dry as much as possible, pressing the slices with a folded paper towel. These will stain your kitchen towels, so it's better to use a disposable product. Put these in a fourth container (bin #4).

Make sauce:
Whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and plum sauce in a small dish.

Heat wok on high. When hot enough for water to sizzle, add 1 tbsp. oil. Heat slightly, then add contents of bin #1 (carrots & broccoli stems). Cook for 2 minutes, "stirring" constantly by sliding two wooden spoons or utensils down the hot sides of the wok and lifting veggies into center, constantly moving veggies from bottom of wok to top (see photos at the end of Bruce's first Stir-fry post.)

Add contents of bin #2 (broccoli florets, onions & garlic) to wok. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add contents of bin #3 (mei qing choi) to wok. Stir-fry 30 seconds.

Add contents of bin #4 (mushrooms) and sauce to wok. Stir-fry 30 seconds.

Remove from wok to serving dish immediately.

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