Chicken or Beef & Vegetable Stir-fry

I want to share my stir-fry recipe with you.

 This is the basic recipe I use for all the stir-fries I make.

The photo is monty’s dinner. He had a big boy’s serve with extra sauce

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To Serve Approx 3 People You Will Need:

  • about 250g meat or chicken. You can thinly slice it, or cut it into chunks. It depends what you prefer. Chunks should be no bigger than 2cm square.

  • 1 large onion cut into wedges like an orange

  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely crushed. Peel them, chop them up a bit. Put about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar over the top of them and get to work mashing them up with a fork. The salt and sugar act as abrasives and will quickly reduce your garlic to a nice, rough paste

  • 1 thinly sliced, or finely chopped red chilli. You can omit this if you like. For less heat, remove the seeds and the white membrane from inside the chilli.

  • 3 cups, or thereabouts, of assorted vegetables. Be aware of the visual appeal of the meal and cut the vegetables into different shapes eg diagonal cut carrot and celery, green beans just cut in half, snow peas – string off ( just cut into the end of the snow pea with your thumb nail and grab the string you see. Pull it all the way down to the end and break off) bok-choy-leaf separated from the stem so it becomes “2” different vegetables, that kind of thing. Of course, you can have as many or as few veggies as you like.

  • in a cup, jug or coffee mug, mix together: 1 tsp sugar – white, brown or palm sugar, 1 tsp chicken stock powder, 2 tsp of cornflour, 1 tablespoon  of soy sauce. You can add a slurp of anything you have in the fridge really – Hoisin sauce, plum, lemon sauce, whatever floats your boat.

Add about 2/3’rds of a cup of water and set aside.

In a large, heavy pan – I use my Circulon, non-stick wok because I love it, but you use what you have, as long as it’s fairly shallow ( like wok shallow) and heavy, heat 1 tbsp peanut or other neutral oil. Don’t use olive oil, it doesn’t suit Asian style cuisine.

Wait until the oil heats up. Throw in your meat or chicken AND LEAVE IT ALONE. You don’t want to touch it for a while – no poking! We want the meat to thoroughly brown on one side before we toss it about.

When it looks to be nicely browned, and the smell is tasty, then you throw in the onion and give the whole lot a good toss about. I like to use a silicon wedge shaped spatula thing, but an egg slice, or spoon is just fine.

When the onion looks a bit see- through, add all the other veggies except for the bok choy leaves. Remember, when you cut your veggies that they will all go into the pan at the same time. Therefore you have to think about how long each would take to cook in relation to the other and make the size and thickness of each veg to suit eg carrot takes much longer than capsicum to cook, therefore we need to make our slices or sticks of carrot thinner than our pieces of capsicum so that they both cook at the same time.

Toss it all about for a while. You have the heat on medium so the veggies have a chance to cook without burning. Throw in the garlic and chilli if you’re using it, and toss that about too.

Taste one of the harder veggies – like the carrot, or poke it with a fork. How is it? Soft enough for you? If it’s not, just stir and cook for a few minutes longer. Test it again.

Now, get the cup of water and stock and tasty seasonings you prepared earlier. Stir it with a spoon. The cornflour has probably sunk to the bottom of the cup.

Throw that in the wok. Don’t bother drizzling it about, or trying to pour it evenly or anything. You want to get it in there and start stirring it about before the cornflour starts to thicken up.

If there’s not enough saucy in there for you, add some more water – start with an extra 1/2 cup. Too thin? Another tsp of cornflour in a 1/3 cup of water should do the trick. Too thick? Add some more water – starting with 1/3 cup and adding more if you need it.

Make sure you stir and toss everything together so that the sauce you have made coats everything.

Turn off the heat after the sauce has come to the boil. When the heat is turned off, throw in the bok-choy leaves and toss them about. See how they wilt straight away in the heat? No need to cook them, they would only shrink and completely disappear.

I serve this with plain jasmine or basmati rice.

monty & Myf like a fried soft yolk egg on the rice.

If there are any limes about, a half one goes on the plate too. So does a sprinkle of coriander if I have any.

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