Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Veggie-Full Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles

This is another chance to hone your cooking skills.  I am not going to give you a set recipe to follow, just a guideline to make awesome stir-fry at home with fewer calories, made the way you like it, and less expensively than take-out.

Start with about 2 cups of sliced or diced vegetables per person.  If you want meat, add 1/4 pound per person of thinly sliced chicken, beef or pork, or substitute chopped tofu or seitan.  You will also need about 2 ounces (dry weight) rice noodles, or any other kind of noodles, per person.

Marinade Ingredients:
  • light soy sauce or Tamari (for gluten-free)
  • rice wine or cooking sherry
  • sesame oil or vegetable oil (sesame will add more flavor)
  • garlic cloves or powder
  • Hoisin sauce (optional)

  1. Marinate the meat, tofu, or seitan in equal parts soy sauce and rice wine with half as much oil, making just enough to coat the meat. (i.e. 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons rice wine, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil).  Add one clove of crushed garlic to the marinade for each serving, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder per serving.  Allow the meat to marinate at least one hour but preferably overnight, especially for beef and pork.  
  2. Note:  You could also use a store-bought marinade.  I prefer the Korean BBQ flavors.
  3. Heat salted water for noodles.
  4. Heat a wok, cast-iron, or heavy skillet to high, starting to barely smoke.  Add enough oil to the bottom of the pan to coat and cook meat to a slight sear and completely done.  Cook in small batches if necessary, draining and saving liquid between cookings, to ensure you sear the meat instead of steaming it.  DON’T CROWD THE PAN!  Cooking time will vary depending on type of meat used.  Remove meat from pan and set aside.  Return cooking liquid to pan.
  5. Drop the noodles in boiling water before beginning to cook remaining vegetables.
  6. Stir-fry vegetables beginning with onions, garlic, and anything else that will take longest to cook (i.e. cabbage, carrots).  Splash in 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of rice wine per serving.  Continue to toss vegetables until nearly done, then add any last minute vegetables that only need a quick cooking, like pepper slices and bean sprouts.  When vegetables are cooked the way you like (still crunchy or wilty, your choice) add in 2 teaspoons of Hoisin sauce per serving and toss to coat.  Hoisin is slightly sweet, so use as you wish.  You could also put in some hot sauce, like Sriracha, at this point.
  7. Add meat back in, tossing to incorporate.
  8. Drain noodles and toss with a little oil and soy sauce just to coat.  Serve stir-fry atop a serving of the noodles.
My version pictured above used green onions, garlic, that beautiful Savoy cabbage we grew, sliced peppers, and shredded carrots with beef.  Feel free to use whatever you have on hand and substitute at will.  My goal is to teach you to see that you have more options for dinner at your disposal than you think you do.  This recipe hardly takes any longer to prepare than going out of your way for carry-out and is certainly healthier and fresher.  Please send me pictures and variations you try at home so I can share them with our readers.  Happy eating!

  1. Veggie-Full Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles

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