Monday, January 3, 2011

Two stir frys, distinctly different

Stir frys are big time favourites in family. They are healthy, hearty, colourful and tasty. I learnt about stir fry, after I came to the US and made my own for the first time, some 5 years ago. I make my own sauce with simple ingredients I already have in my pantry and hence obtain different flavour each time.

I had already planned on making stir fry tonight. Since not many vegetables are in season right now, I resorted to frozen bell peppers and asparagus.

 During my weekend trip to farmers' market, I saw really fresh bok choy and could not resist it. I bought about 2 pounds and hence made another simple stir fry with just the juicy, tender and delicate bok choy.

I generally serve my stir fry over brown rice, which I ran out of today and resorted to regular white rice.

For bok choy stir fry (adapted from recipe in Steamy Kitchen)
Bok choy - 2lbs
Ginger - minced - 2 tsp
Chilly flakes - to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - a dash

Trim the stems of the bok choy just enough to loosen the leaves. Leave the inner 2-3 tender leaves as a bunch. The leaves may have to be washed 2 -3 times to remove all the sand particles. I prefer immersing them into water to wash than use a running stream.

I generally use the cold wok / pan method for all my stir frys as explained in Steamy Kitchen.

In a cold pan/ wok, add sesame oil, chilly flakes and ginger. Turn the heat up to medium high and let it sizzle and infuse the oil with great flavours. Then, add the bok choy and toss quickly for about a minute. I had to do the stir frying in batches to avoid crowding. Season with salt, and this lets out enough water to cook the bok choy completely, for about another minute. Remove from heat, add a dash of lemon juice and season with freshly ground pepper to taste and enjoy warm.

For Mixed vegetable stir fry
Carrots - 2 large cut into 2 inch strips
Broccoli - 1 large head - separated
Colourful bell peppers, cut into strips - 3 large (I used frozen)
Asparagus - 10 oz (I used frozen), cut into 2 inch pieces
Onion - 1 large diced into strips
Garlic - 3 large cloves, minced
Chili oil - 4 tbsp
Salt to taste

For sauce:
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Hoisin sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Tomato ketchup - 1 tbsp
Sriracha Hot sauce - 3 - 4 drops or to taste
Corn starch - 1 tsp
Water - 1/8 cup

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and whisk thoroughly and set aside.

In a cold pan, add oil and garlic and turn up the heat to medium high. When the oil is hot, add onions and fry for a minute. Add carrot and broccoli, fry for about 30 seconds. Season with salt and fry for 30 more seconds. Add little water and fry for 2-3 minutes until the carrots and broccoli almost cooked. Since I used frozen veggies, I add them at this point and add more salt to taste and fry for another 30 seconds. Now add the sauce and let it come to a boil and then remove from heat and enjoy hot over a warm bed of rice.


  1. Stir-fries are great. They're usually pretty satisfying and very, very adaptable. They're also usually pretty easy to put together on a hectic weeknight. Yours look delicious!

  2. ooh the recipe for the veggie stir fry sounds good.