Confession: My favorite food in the world is good bread with butter.
But these days, the thing I love to eat is stir fry. I’m cooking it about once a week, and could eat it twice as often. I suspect that those of you who are groaning at the thought are thinking of overcooked broccoli and woody stems. To that I say, Nonsense!
When I think of stir fry, I think of a warm heap of salted rice, tender veggies and delicious chunks of meat.
Think of the pros:
- It’s hard to find a cheaper food than rice.
- It’s hard to find a more nutritious food than all those green vegetables!
- The proportions of meat-to-produce are healthy—a bit of protein alongside lots of vitamins and fiber.
- It’s simple enough to cook any weeknight, but special enough to serve to guests.
- The adaptations are endless. You can use what’s in season, what’s in your refrigerator, and any kind of meat.
- It takes only about 20 minutes to make.
- My kids LOVE it.
Here are some ideas to mix and match:
|Fresh chicken breast or pork chops, cubed, seasoned, and sautéed||Broccoli, sliced carrots, diced green peppers and onions||Baby corn|
|Chunks of roast beef or strips of steak left from last night’s supper||Asparagus, zucchini or summer squash, button mushrooms||Water chestnuts|
|Imitation crab||Sugar snap peas, Portobello mushrooms||Pineapple chunks|
I saute the veggies in butter and canola oil till they’re tender, shake some soy sauce over top, and cook the rice like this:
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1 T. butter
- 1 t. salt
Mix all together in a pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Stir, then cover and reduce heat so the rice mixture simmers for 20 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve, topped with veggies.
And now for the secret that transformed Ryan’s opinion of stir-fry: homemade sweet-and-sour sauce. Mix equal parts of ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Microwave till hot and a little bubbly. Pass with stir fry. YUM! The leftover sauce keeps for weeks in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to make it fresh each time.
Tonight I made this dish to share with a friend who’s vegan, so I made it meatless, with plenty of mushrooms. Ryan says it was still good.