Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bruce's Mushroom Kale Carrot Stir Fry

Bowl of Stir fry with serving spoon
Kale, Mushrooms, and Carrots: Help Yourself to Health

Recipe by Bruce

Don’t you love it when (1) another family member cooks dinner, (2) they use up all the odd leftover veggies in the fridge, (3) what they cook turns out amazing, and (4) you have a pen, paper, and foresight to write down what they did so they can recreate their masterpiece again and again. Kudos to hubby Bruce for creating this recipe a few years back, using ingredients that we had on hand. Not only is it delicious, but also nearly every ingredient promotes health and builds the immune system with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Kale is high in vitamins A, B-complex, C, and K, as well as various flavonoids with antioxidant properties. Carrots have lots of vitamin A and several minerals. Mushrooms, ginger, and garlic are all nutritional superstars. The dish is colorful and low in fat. There is simply no downside to this recipe.

Dark Green Kale + Orange Carrots = Nutrition
The secret of the low fat content is a bit of mushroom magic. Mushrooms are added to the wok first with just a bit of oil. Once other ingredients are added, they’ve cooked enough to start releasing their juices, lending flavorful moisture to the dish. We’ve used young shitakes, criminis, and button mushrooms, and all work beautifully.

Use any kind of kale. Green kale (as illustrated) and Red Russian are good choices. If you choose Dino kale, use two small bunches instead of one, as it’s softer and will cook down more. Or experiment with changing up the proportions of the veggies based upon what you have on hand. Herbs such as cilantro or parsley are optional; we use one or the other if we happen to have it on hand. You could try a smaller amount of another mild green herb, like basil or oregano.

Basket of Kale, Carrots, Leek, and Mushrooms
Four Stir Fry Ingredients Plus Sauce
Here are some of Bruce’s stir fry tips, for best results:

  • Prepare all the veggies and the sauce before starting to stir fry
  • Cut the leeks, carrots, and mushrooms to approximately the same thickness
  • Dry off all the veggies and herbs before cooking them
  • Use extremely high heat and toss veggies frequently for even cooking
  • Use a timer and don’t over-cook
  • Before cooking, put out a bowl for the finished stir fry, and transfer immediately from wok after cooking

As we move through the final days of winter, I hope you’ll enjoy boosting your immunity with Bruce’s savory-sweet Asian-inspired invention.

Closeup of finished stir fry
Garlic, Onions, and Sauce Compliment Kale, Mushrooms & Carrots
Bruce’s Mushroom Kale Carrot Stir Fry
serves 4 - 6

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large leek, or two smallish
½ lb. carrots
½ lb. mushrooms
1 small to medium head kale
1 tbsp. pressed garlic, about 7 cloves
1½ tbsp. ginger, sliced thinly then into matchsticks
small bunch cilantro or parsley, optional
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. toasted (dark) sesame oil

Clean leeks and dry thoroughly. Cut in half and slice into ¼ inch half moons. Scrub carrots and dry off. Cut into ¼ inch slices. Wash mushrooms and dry with kitchen towel, pressing out water gently. Cut mushrooms into ¼ inch slices. Wash and dry kale. Remove kale stems and tear up leaves into bite-sized pieces.

If using cilantro or parsley, wash and dry thoroughly. Then pull off whole leaves. Use up to 1 cup of leaves, as desired.

Prepare sauce by combining rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and toasted sesame oil in small bowl.

Heat wok or non-stick skillet over high heat. When small drop of water evaporates quickly, add olive oil and continue heating for about 20 more seconds.

When a small drop of water sizzles in the pan, add mushrooms. Toss to coat with oil. Cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently to cook evenly throughout.

Add leeks and carrots and toss until well mixed. Cook for 3 minutes, tossing thoroughly every 30 seconds or so to ensure even cooking.

Add kale, garlic, and ginger to wok. Cook for 2 minutes, tossing until well mixed and all kale has cooked down.

Add cilantro and pre-mixed sauce to wok. Toss and cook for 1 minute. Remove immediate to serving bowl to prevent overcooking.

Garnish with extra parsley or cilantro sprigs if desired.

Stir Frying in Wok
Use Two Wooden Utensils to Stir Fry

Flipping Veggies in Wok with Utensils, and a Lot of Steam!
Expect a Lot of Steam When Stir frying!


  1. Good Job! I'm going to make this this summer when my veggies are in season.

  2. Enjoy! You'll be thankin' your creative cousin! :)

  3. Going to try this tonight! Happen to have all the ingredients and we're in need of some immunity boosters! Thanks!

  4. I tried this today for my lunch and it's very tasty! Actually, my kids also liked it especially the mushroom. I would really like to try this again when I have time. Thank you for sharing your great recipe!

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