All posts tagged: stir fry

Quick Velveted Chicken Stir Fry

Want a weeknight stir fry, with chicken as tender as velvet? Have I got a technique for you.For the low, low price of three $9.99 payments, we’ll throw in a second bassomatic for…sorry. I got stuck in “As Seen On TV” sales mode. Velveting is a Chinese technique to protect meat from the heat of a wok. First, marinate the meat in egg white, corn starch, and flavoring liquids, like soy sauce and rice wine. Then par-cook the meat in oil or water before stir-frying to set the coating. This coating – the velveting – forms a protective barrier, keeping the meat tender while it browns. I don’t have time for all that in a weeknight stir fry. I take a shortcut. I stick with the corn starch marinade…skipping the egg white…and also skipping the par-cooking step. The marinated chicken breast goes straight in the hot wok – no par-cooking for me. The corn starch coating does its work, protecting the meat and keeping it tender.Credit where it’s due – I picked this tip up …

Weeknight Fried Rice

Fried rice is occasionally acceptable to my little rice monsters. They eat white rice without hesitation, which leaves me a lot of leftover rice. Fried rice is the perfect way to use those leftovers…but kids are fickle. Sometimes the bowl is scraped clean; other times they won’t go near it.*Now, when we go to our local Hibachi restaurant, they insist on having fried rice. Do I need a floor show? Flipping spatulas in the air, juggling eggs, causing large sake flare-ups in my wok? No way that can end badly, right? Pam Anderson’s fried rice formula in Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals jumped out at me. It’s a great refrigerator velcro technique – I had rice, eggs, some Asian pantry items, and a bunch of fall vegetables from my CSA. Fennel and Carrot fried rice, here we come! Pam had an interesting technique in the recipe. Chinese restaurants keep a large pot of boiling water on the stove right next to their wok, to par-boil firm vegetables before finishing them in the wok. Pam’s insight …

Turkey Lettuce Wraps, Chinese Style

Ben, my oldest, will not eat vegetables or fruit. This is painful for me. While I will never become a vegetarian, I do enjoy all the vegetable options I get from my CSA and farmers market. I plan two vegetable side dishes with every meal. And Ben? Until recently, he wouldn’t allow them on his plate. They were too “Yucky.” Now, he’ll try a bite of a fruit or vegetable. Then he’ll make a face, and look at me and say “it was OK.”*Translation: “I took a bite. What more do you want from me?” Recently, I had a breakthrough. He has always liked stir-fried chicken. He made the mistake of showing a slight bit of interest in lettuce wraps, so I made him take a taste of this recipe at dinner. I laid on the sales job: “Lettuce doesn’t taste like much, really, and it adds a nice crunch with the chicken. Try it!” Eventually, after much persuasion, he took a bite. And, to my surprise, he kept going. He finished the one lettuce …

Green Bean Stir-Fry

The beans are coming! The beans are coming! It’s green bean season at my CSA. Pretty soon, maybe even by the time you’re reading this, I’ll have all you can pick green beans. Have I mentioned that Diane loves green beans before? Yes? Well, this time of year is heaven for her. Normally, she feels a little competition with our CSA. Diane is proud of her garden, and wants to make sure that I’m cooking HER vegetables first, before the CSA veggies. But not when it’s green bean season. That’s the one time of year she is 100% behind the CSA. She’ll take the kids to Crown Point for the you-pick-em beans. My first thought when I see a new vegetable at the CSA is “stir fry it!”. Beans aren’t new, but the idea still stands. I love the wave of fresh green beans…at first.  After a month or so, I get a little bored. When I get tired of steam-sauteed beans, or grilled beans, or pickled beans…my stir fry technique is waiting to make them interesting …

Stir Fried Bok Choy with Basil-Lemon Sauce

Here is a recipe I use often, for a quick stir-fry side dish. I usually make it after I’ve made the protein stir fry – I wipe the pan out and move on to the vegetable side. I put this one together from vegetables we got from our CSA share this summer. My apologies to Pam, who split the CSA share with me. I’ve had these pictures waiting for me to write up the recipe for quite a while now, and she kept asking me “what are you doing with all these vegetables?!?”. I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to get around to the answer to that question. As I’ve said before, the key to a stir-fry is the stir fry technique. Organization is key – you need to have all the vegetables prepped before you start. When I do a stir-fry with a main dish and a side, I prep both at the same time – You’ll see the vegetables I used in my weeknight chicken stir fry recipe in some of …

Stir Fried Chicken with Peppers and Onions

This recipe is one of my go to weeknight meals. Stir-fried chicken, plus a stir fried vegetable side and white rice – I can have dinner on the table in about 45 minutes. The key to this recipe is the stir fry technique; once you have the stir fry technique internalized, this recipe comes together quickly. Recipe: Stir Fried Chicken with Peppers and Onions Veg prepped.  Note the bok choy, for my veg side, is also ready to go Ingredients: 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken (thigh or breast) Marinade: 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp dry sherry Sauce: (Soy/Sesame sauce) 1/4 cup soy sauce 2 tbsp dry sherry or rice wine vinegar 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 1 large onion 1 large red pepper 2 large cloves garlic 1 tsp vegetable oil 1 tbsp vegetable oil (For meat stir fry) 2 tbsp vegetable oil (For veg stir fry) Instructions: (Again, see the stir fry technique for an overview) 1. Prep protein: Slice the chicken into 1/2″ thick strips, then toss in a …