“Have It Your Way” Stir Fry
If you are looking for a healthy recipe that can be modified to your taste- stir fry is for you. It is hard to mess up a stir fry – overcooking the vegetables, sure… but changing the amounts of any one ingredient will not make that much of a difference. In fact, it’s probably better if you tweak the ingredients to suit your taste.
My mother sent me her stir fry “recipe” – more like a long paragraph with tips on how she makes her stir fry rather than an actual recipe. She stresses the “use what you like” concept, along with some basic sound stir fry principles. Prep everything ahead of time; use a heavy, large pan; don’t overcook the vegetables; pick a sauce you like. Her “recipe” has no accurate measurements just approximations, so experiment. If you like more garlic, add more. If you go crazy for Bok Choy, go for it. You like mushrooms, go bananas…you get the picture.
It is made different every time, and it is probably important to say that it comes out good every time. Remember, don’t get hung up on the measurements – do what feels right and follow the basic principles and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 yellow or orange pepper, sliced into strips
- ½ of a large onion, sliced
- ½ cup chopped spring onion
- 1 cup mushrooms, halved
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup pea pods
- 1 chicken breast, cut into 1-inch by 2-inch strips
- 1 small filet, cut into 1-inch by 2-inch strips
- ½ pound raw shrimp
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup tablespoons dark soy sauce, we recommended Tamari
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2-3 cups chicken stock, more for deglazing
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2-3 tablespoon cornstarch (depending on how thick you like your sauce)
1.) Prep your vegetables and set aside.
2.) Prep your filet and chicken. Place them in separate bowls. Cover them both in a bit of soy sauce and pepper and set aside.
3.) Clean your shrimp, set aside.
4.) Prepare your sauce by combining the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, chicken stock, corn starch & honey. I usually do this in a mason jar with a lid. Shake to combine, set aside.
5.) In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat.
6.) Cook each protein (chicken, filet & shrimp) separately for a minute or two. Remove and set them aside in a separate bowl.
7.) Now it’s time to start the vegetables. First, sauté your onions and garlic for few minutes, careful not to burn the garlic.
8.) Add in the vegetables that take the longest – your carrots. If your pan is dry you can add a bit of chicken stock. Next, add in the pea pods, bell pepper, mushrooms & celery. Again, if your pan is getting dry – add more chicken stock. This is the step that makes or breaks most stir fry – do not overcook those veggies.
9.) Add in your sauce, let it come to a boil, now add all of your proteins back into the pan, let them warm through. Your pan will be pretty full by now, hopefully you used a large pan.
10.) You are almost done; add in the green onion and bean sprouts.
11.) Serve with steamed white rice and top with fried rice noodles. BTW, my mom stresses the rice noodles.
Hint, hint: You can always use a ready-made sauce from the grocery store. They make so many varieties – General Tso, sweet and sour, teriyaki – experiment.