Today, I want to tell you the story of a stir fry.
When I started this stir fry, I had no idea that it would be ongoing and evolving, providing dinners for two people for three nights. Without going limp! Without losing its flavour! Without a photograph! It was just a simple stir-fry. Who knew?
I am likely a latecomer to what I’ll call the “add-on” cooking method, but being a blog writer means I can’t wait to share it with you anyway.
Now, like most stir fry dishes, this one was easy. The two tricks that kept it going and going were the following:
- COOKING ONLY UNTIL CRUNCHY
- ADDING FRESH INGREDIENTS
Now, for the sake of the story, I’m going to assume that you know how to make a stir-fry with very little or no oil. (See Quinoa Vegetable Stir-Fry if you’re not sure about the no-oil method.) Secondly, your favourite vegetables and condiments may differ from ours so substitute to your heart’s content. And thirdly, your quantities may vary because the spouse and I don’t eat large dinners or meat portions.
So here goes! Once upon a time there were some vegetables…
Dinner #1: Just Veggies
To cook only until crunchy means starting with the vegetables which will take the longest to cook and adding the faster-cooking ingredients at the end. Hence, put ingredients #1 to #6 in a heated pot:
- 2 zucchinis, sliced
- 20 pea pods (roughly, I wasn’t counting) with the tips trimmed off and halved
- 1 leek, sliced thin
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- ½ bag broccoli slaw
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- ½ head of Savoy cabbage, chopped
- 1 bag of sprouts
Cover the pot, wait 1-2 minutes, stir, and repeat the sequence until the zucchinis are just starting to look translucent but are not fully cooked. (5-7 minutes? Unfortunately, I wasn’t watching the clock.)
Add #7 and #8 and cover the pot, etc., until the sprouts are warm but still firm and barely cooked. (2 minutes?) Everything should be crunchy except for the cabbage which wilts quickly (Savoy cabbage leaves are thinner than regular cabbage and cook faster).
We served this initial stir fry over rice as an accompaniment for fish.
Important tip: After cooking, remove the pot immediately from the heat and leave it uncovered. If you put the cover on while eating, the vegetables will continue to steam-cook.
Dinner #2: Chicken Breast and Shirataki Noodles
“Beef up” the vegetables with chicken and noodles:
- Sautée 1 chicken breast, cut into cubes, with 1 tbsp. minced garlic and 1 tsp. minced ginger.
- Add the leftover veggies from Dinner #1 into the pan with the chicken, turn off the heat, and stir. (If your pan doesn’t hold heat well, cook as little as you can.)
- Mix in 1 bag of Shirataki noodles, rinsed well with hot water so they don’t require heating. (Learn more about Shirataki noodles if you’ve never used or heard about them before.)
Dinner #3: Last But Not Least
Cook more veggies to “crunch” status and then add the leftovers from Dinner #2, turning off the heat and mixing.
- 2 leeks, sliced thin
- 2 zucchini, sliced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
And the moral of the story? Eat your leftovers! Bon appetit!