Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stir-Friday

Stir fry, actually on Thursday (but don't tell anyone!)


Har har ... Stir-Friday is a joke from one of our favorite TV shows, Archer.  If you didn't know.

But anyway.

I've been making stir-fry since before Scott & I got together (I think the first one I made at home was during winter 2004). I have to give Scott a ton of the credit, though, because he inspired me so much to start. You see, I was young and very starry eyed and in love, and Scott was making me all kinds of wonderful food and teaching me about Asian culture, something I knew relatively little about and wanted (for "some reason") to know everything about during that time.

I've definitely honed my skills over the last 7+ years we've been together. I felt particularly inspired last Thursday evening, probably because I was really craving some real food and I'd just picked up our first CSA box of the year from Eatwell Farm.  This was pretty easy to make, and and was rather haphazard; for instance, I didn't have any ginger (terrible!), which normally I heap into every stir-fry I make. But that's OK, because this time it ended up working out.

One of the basic principles of stir-fry is that basically anything can go in it. That's awesome! I think winter vegetables are perfect for stir frying, and that's how I ended up feeling so inspired last Thursday. Here's every ingredient that went into the stir-fry pictured above:

Canola oil (~ 2 tablespoons)
Peanut oil (just a splash)
Garlic (a ton, maybe 5 or 6 large cloves, diced)
Soy sauce (I used Whole Foods brand, and none of that low sodium stuff! I want the real thing!)
Some kind of Whole Foods spicy-as-hell "dragon sauce" (um ... I call it dragon sauce)
Extra firm tofu (1 block, cut into squares)
Broccoli (1 head), cut it up as you see fit (I try to cut it as little as possible)
Leeks (2), diced
Bok Choy (3), cut into medium-sized pieces
Red pepper flakes (aka Sons of Bitches)
Sesame seeds

That's not very much at all, is it? And yet it made that gorgeous dish above, which was delicious.

First, I heated the canola oil in a wok to high temperaturem added soy sauce, and dropped in my tofu, which I then fried (patiently) until it was golden on most sides (don't be a perfectionist!)

Next, add the garlic, leeks, and broccoli, along with "dragon sauce" (I will try to figure out what this stuff is once I get home, but you can use any stir-fry sauce or whatever you like), a bit more soy sauce and a splash of peanut oil and red pepper flakes.

Stir it a bit, cover the wok for a couple of minutes, then add the bok choy. After that? Lower the heat (medium low works well), cover, and simmer, stirring every 3 minutes or so, for 10-15 minutes or however long it takes the stir-fry to fully cook. You'll know when its done: lets face it, you're waiting on the broccoli.

I always serve stir-fry on top of either rice or noodles, and I mix up the type of rice/noodles every time. It's just simple, rice or Asian noodles of some sort cooked to package directions. It would be great without the rice or noodles too, though, so if you aren't into that sort of thing, don't bother!

I sprinkled sesame seeds on top of this stir-fry for the first time, and they were mighty tasty. Definitely something I'll do again. And again, this was just this week's recipe; I mix up the ingredients based on what I have, and it always seems to work out. This one was particularly good though. Enjoy!

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