A stir-fry is one of the easiest dishes to prepare ahead for a quick trip to the finish line. All of the washing, peeling, and dicing can be done ahead and the prepped ingredients refrigerated, ready to be quickly cooked when the time is right.
There are four main pieces of most stir fry dishes: The meat, the firm veggies, the soft veggies, and the sauce. See the printable recipe here:
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast or pork loin, cut in 1” cubes
- 2 T. soy sauce (if you want gluten-free, check the ingredients in the soy sauce)
- 2 T. ULTRA GEL®
- 2 t. fresh ginger, minced
- 2 t. red chile pepper flakes
- 1 T garlic, finely minced
- 1/3 c. chicken broth
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- 1/3 c. water
- 4 t. toasted sesame oil
- 2 t. sugar
- 4 T. Ultra Gel
- 1 lb firm vegetables (broccoli, carrots, celery, etc)
- 1 lb soft vegetables (mushrooms, onion, summer squash, etc)
- ¼ c. vegetable oil
- Add soy sauce, 2 T. Ultra Gel, ginger, red chile flakes, and minced garlic to meat and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- Combine chicken broth, 1/3 c. soy sauce, water, sesame oil, and sugar and mix well. Add Ultra Gel gradually while stirring with a wire whisk or fork. Set aside.
- Pour 2 T. vegetable oil into a large wok or frying pan. Heat on a high heat until shimmering, then add the meat. Stir meat regularly until it is no longer pink in the center. Remove meat from pan and reserve.
- Add another 2 T. oil to the pan and heat. Add the firm vegetables and stir fry until crisp-tender. Don’t hesitate to cover with a lid occasionally for more even cooking. Remove the firm vegetables and reserve.
- Heat the pan until hot again and add the tender vegetables. Stir fry them only about 1 minute. Return all the vegetables and meat to the pan and toss with the sauce (which should be thick) until heated through. Serve with prepared rice..
For our Americanized stir fries, the meat is often boneless chicken or pork--easy to prepare for use--just cut the raw meat in 1" cubes.
The firm vegetables are the ones that "crunch" if you take a bite such as broccoli, carrots, celery, and bok choy.
The soft vegetables are usually very moist and include mushrooms, summer squash (ie zucchini), and small pieces of Asian cabbage. I see onions going either way, according to whether you like them soft or crunchy. If you like them soft, put them with the firm veggies. If you like them crunchy, put them with the soft veggies.
There are many different sauces--I'm including a very basic sauce but feel free to get creative!
Start with the meat. Add the Ultra Gel, soy sauce, ginger, red chile flakes and minced garlic to the meat and mix. The soy sauce will add a bit of salt, which will be absorbed into the meat, not only adding flavor, but also helping keep the protein moist. The Ultra Gel will also help keep the moisture in the meat, and will help it brown nicely. The ginger, chile flakes, and garlic will infuse the protein with the great flavors we expect in a good stir fry. But they need a little time to work, so prepare the protein element first and let the meat absorb the flavors while you prepare the other items.
Next, prepare the sauce by adding the chicken broth, 1/3 c. soy sauce, water, and sesame oil. Stir in the Ultra Gel with a fork or wire whip and set aside. The Ultra Gel will thicken the sauce--no cooking necessary!
Then prepare the vegetables by chopping into bite-sized pieces. Keep the firm veggies separate from the soft veggies as they will be cooked separately.
Don't discard the broccoli stems--if a knife will pierce stem pieces easily, they are totally usable. Pull the skin off if it is tough, then julienne the stem pieces and add to the other firm vegetables.
To cook the meal, start with a heavy frypan or wok. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat at a medium high heat until shimmering, then add the meat all at once and stir regularly while cooking until no pink remains. The meat will taste better if some browning is allowed to occur, so don't stir constantly--just regularly. When done, remove it to a bowl.
Add additional oil to the pan if necessary and heat again to shimmering and add the firm vegetables. Cook them until tender, stirring regularly. Add a lid for a few minutes if you wish to help the firm veggies cook more evenly, but for best color, make a lid infrequent and short-lived! The veggies should not be accumulating juices!! When the firm veggies are cooked to your liking, remove them from the pan. If more oil is necessary, add a little more and again heat to shimmering.
Add the soft veggies and cook quickly (only thirty seconds or so)-just enough for them to get a little searing on them. Remove the soft veggies from the pan.
Heat the pan back to a high heat, then add the reserved protein, crisp veggies, and soft veggies in that order to make sure everything is hot. Drizzle the sauce over and stir lightly, then serve immediately with rice. Yum!!