I love stirfries. When I moved out on my own and had to start cooking for myself, stirfries offered an easy, cheap meal that could be endlessly varied. Even now, if I don’t know what to make, I make a stirfry because I always have the ingredients on hand and can whip up a sauce in nothing flat.
Which made writing this post incredibly difficult. You see, to me, the very essence of a great stirfry is that it can be made in hundreds of ways. My sauces and marinades are never the same twice — I build them based on how I feel and what I want to eat, adding a bit of ginger today or some powdered wasabi tomorrow. In fact, an old friend of mine, Brandon, coined the term “Coriental” to describe my methods for making these!
Today, I’ll describe the basics of how I made this particular one. Please note – the amounts and ingredients are most definitely not set in stone. Look for produce that’s on sale, in season or just plain looks good. If nothing fresh looks good, look in the frozen section and find a bag of frozen veggies whose mix you like. A 1 pound package is about right for two and eating more veggies is hardly going to bust a diet.
It is very important that all of the ingredients are prepped before you begin cooking. Stirfries move fast — you will not have time to chop up a veggie before adding the next, especially since you need to be stirring constantly so that nothing burns. Traditionally, these are cooked over very high heat, but I usually use medium-high heat which seems to work better for my stove and equipment. Use whatever works best for you.
As for the fried rice.. There are so many ways to make it! I have two favorites and they’re both simple. I always incorporate beaten egg and green onions. Half the time, I am lazy and use Sunbird Fried Rice Mix (I love the flavor that Sunbird’s mix gives it), the other half, I’m even lazier and just pour over some soy sauce and fry it until the edges of the grains brown up. Sometimes I throw in a handful of cubed cooked ham too. While I love fried rice, I’m happiest with the very simplest.
Veggie Stirfry with Simply Fried Rice [printable recipe]
- 2 cups cooked, cooled rice
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 eggs, beaten well
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, sliced thinly from root to stem
- 1 pattypan or sunburst squash, julienned
- 1 small head of broccoli, stem julienned and florets separated into bite-sized pieces
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 large cluster of oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/4 tsp powdered ginger or 1 quarter-size slice fresh, minced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove, crushed
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
- 1 tsp hoisin sauce (optional)
Making the sauce:
Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or glass.
Making the fried rice:
In an oiled large wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat, fry the cooked rice. Separate the grains to fluff and ensure all of the rice cooks evenly — you don’t want lumps. Stir constantly, keep everything moving. After about 2 or 3 minutes, pour over 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Mix it in well and continue to fry.
My husband likes his egg to coat most of the rice, I prefer big chunks of egg. For his way, pour the beaten egg over the rice and stir it in well, continuing to stir constantly so that all of the egg cooks up nicely. For my way, push the rice to the sides, leaving a largish circle of pan in the center. Pour the eggs into the cleared center and scramble. Once the eggs are mostly cooked, stir into the rice.
When the rice is nicely browned, add the green onions and fry for another 30 seconds. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.
Making the stirfry:
In a large skillet or wok, lightly oiled and set over medium-high heat, begin by frying up the onions until nicely browned and soft. Remove to the bowl.
Next, add squash, broccoli and carrot. Add a bit of water and cover for 2 minutes to steam them a bit before frying. Remove cover and add garlic and mushrooms. Fry all together for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms soften. Add sauce. Continue to fry, stirring frequently for another 2 minutes. Add peas, cook for 1 minute, then add green onions. Stir in the onions. Taste a bit of broccoli, make sure it’s cooked al dente.
Serve over fried rice.