Saturday, February 19, 2011

Operation-Clean-Up Stir-Fry

I'm going to be honest: I didn't really feel like stir-fry last night. I sucked it up though, since I had to use up a bunch of veggie odds and ends that were sitting in the fridge, getting sadder looking by the minute. Operation-clean-up stir-fry is like a finger print: yours and mine won't be the same, since we're each dealing with our own veggies scraps. Even though the ingredients may vary, the method remains the same: quickly saute the veggies over relatively high heat, stirring often; then add your sauce; cook off some of the liquid and serve.

For the love of all that's delicious though, don't cook the life out of your veggies. For a stir-fry, they should still have some crunch and brightness to them. You can serve your veggies over rice or with noodles, for an equally satisfying meal.

Operation-Clean-Up Stir-Fry
Makes 3 servings
  • 6 oz / 170 g rice noodles
  • 3 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, sliced 
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 heaping cup sugar snap peas
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 plus 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, less you're not a huge fan of heat
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons of canola or peanut oil
1. Cook your noodles until slightly shy of al dente since you will be sauteing them later. Drain the noodles and then rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
2. Soak your dried shiitakes until tender, then drain them. The mushrooms I used only needed about a one minute dunk because they were already sliced. If your mushrooms aren't sliced, you'll have to soak them a while longer, remove the woodsy stems and slice them.
3. In a medium pot, boil your cauliflower for about 2 minutes, just to get rid of that harsh bite.
4. Mix the soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, water and grated ginger in a small bowl and set aside.
5. In a wok, large skillet or (in my case) a paella pan, heat the canola or peanut oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the veggies that take longer to cook -- the carrots and the bell pepper -- and saute for about 3 minutes.
6. Add in the shiitakes and saute for another 3 minutes, or until they start to get slightly brown in some spots.
7. Toss in the garlic and onions, cooking until the onions start to soften, which should take 2-3 minutes.
8. Mix in the cauliflower and the snap peas and saute for another 3 or so minutes.
9. Add the noodles and mix them with the veggies. After a couple minutes, add the sauce mixture and cook stirring until the sauce coats all the veggies and has been absorbed by the noodles. Serve, garnished with some extra dried shiitakes if you'd like.

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