Stir fry is one of my favorites.
So much so that I could probably eat it 4-5 times a week and not get tired of it.
One of the things I love about stir fry is that it’s very flexible. Got pork? Great. Steak? Use it. Chicken? More please.
So yeah, I take that same flexibility and apply it to my ingredients.
What you are about to read is more of a set of guide lines for a stir fry than a recipe. As always, experiment!
When I am cooking stir fry, I gauge the amount of meat I use very loosely. Remember, the meat is there as an accent, not the primary flavor. That said, I use 1/2 a chicken breast for each serving, 1 boneless pork chop, or 4 ounces of beef per diner.
I like marinades. So I slice whatever meat I am cooking into 1/2 inch cubes and put them into a zip top bag. In with the meat goes garlic, some olive oil, salt, pepper, white vinegar, a few good shakes of hot sauce, and some soy sauce. I then close it while slowly squeezing the air out, and let it marinate for a few hours.
Once ready to cook, I put the meat into a few tablespoons of hot oil in my wok and fry until cooked and a little crispy. I like the feel and the flavor of meat that has been stir fried to within an inch of burning. Why? I have no idea. Remove the meat from the pan once cooked and set aside.
Next up are the vegetables:
1 medium onion, chopped.
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 green/red/yellow/orange bell pepper chopped (think color)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
Put those ingredients into a few tablespoons of hot oil in your wok and stir fry until cooked. Then add any or all of the following:
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 stalk bok choy
1 cup Chinese cabbage, chopped.
1 cup sliced water chestnuts
1 cup julienned or chopped carrots
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 cup snow pea pods
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
Try to judge the number of ingredients and the number of people you are serving.
Although, leftovers are never a bad thing with stir fry. So yeah, use ALL the ingredients, live a little.
Put the vegetables in the wok and once they are starting to cook, consider adding in some soy sauce mixed with water to help steam the vegetables to a cooked state. I also like some hot sauce with mine, so shake it if ya got it. Cover the wok if you wish, but check the progress regularly, you don’t want them over cooked.
Once the vegetables are nearly completely cooked, mix in a slurry of cornstarch and water. 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a half-cup of water is about right. Mix it up well before pouring the mixture of the vegetables and mixing it all together. Then mix the meat back in. As a final touch, I like to sprinkle the whole dish with a good amount of sesame seeds. This is optional but I like the extra little crunch sesame seeds provide.
Serve hot over rice, preferably rice that is sticky enough to use chopsticks on.
(Remember, cook your rice in broth for more flavor.)