Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Homemade Chinese Food

So you have a hankering for some Chinese take-out...but maybe you don't have to call anyone to get some. You can make your own! You can find the basic ingredients at most grocery stores and with a little saute action and some rice, presto, your own stir-fry. And bonus, you know how much salt, fat, sugar, etc. is in there! Here is a stir-fry I made recently which did two of us for supper and again for lunch. It's a veggie version which gives you lots of nutrients and a colourful plate, but you can easily add shaved beef or chicken for a meaty add-on.

What I used:
Chinese lettuce (about 1/2 head chopped into ribbons)
Mushrooms (white button, quartered)
Broccoli (sliced into long stems)
Carrots (also sliced in to long bits)
Garlic (sliced)
Soy sauce
Peanut oil
Red chili flakes (or fresh chili if you have it)
Rice (white or brown is fine)
Salt & Pepper
Oil for pan

What I did:
All the ingredients measurements should be added as you see fit. Taste as you go and you'll know if you have the right balance. For example, if you add too much salt, add more veggies or a little sugar. You can also add other veggies depending on what you have on hand.
Start cooking the rice according to package directions.

Pour some oil into a pan. I used about 1 tbs in my new cast-iron pan. You could use a traditional wok for stir-fry but it's really only useful on gas stoves with the proper wok attachment for the burner. I do use one often but find a lot of the surface space is wasted. I think you're either on one side of this wok debate or another but really, for the purpose of stir-fry you can use any frying pan you have.

Let the oil heat up and add the veggies in reverse order - that is in the order in which they take the longest to cook. For the veggies I had on hand, this went: carrots, broccoli, Chinese lettuce, mushrooms. Then add your seasonings such as garlic, pepper, sauce, etc.

Let the mixture come together while stirring frequently (hence "stir-fry"). Once the rice is finished cooking through the stir-fry should be done. Serve 'em up and enjoy!

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