Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stir-fry in seconds...

So I'm a huge fan of variety and for that reason I LOVE "ethnic" food. I think by ethnic I mean something other than pasta, because that seems to be the cheapest and easiest for college student budgets.

There are tons of ways to make good stir fry and chinese food, but here are my quick suggestions.

1. Good sauce
2. Chinese veggies
3. Meat optional
4. Rice

Again, I love my rice cooker so I can't imagine living without it, but instant rice is not too bad either and takes about the same amount of time to stir fry.

There are lots of different kinds of veggies that work great for stir fry, I usually buy what is cheapest. In the frozen food section there is usually a bag of "chinese starters" or something like that that includes basics like mini-corn and water chestnuts. The type in a can tends to include more sprouts and such but they both work well.

If I have chicken or pork I add that, but if I don't have it or only have a little, I make up the difference with vegetables and it's still great.

There are lots of different sauces. If you have to pick simply one, I recommend a teriyaki merinade or sauce--it's a common flavor that everyone likes but it's not just salt like soy sauce. I also favor Hoison sauce if you're looking for a little more authentic.

Other than that, it's super easy. If you add a little sauce before adding meat you never have to add oil, which makes it healthier. Saute meat over med-high heat until brown, add veggies and more sauce, cook until medium soft (don't want mushy vegetables!) or until the rice is done. Works great as leftovers as well.

Also, if you check out the foreign food aisle of most grocery stores you will find sauce packets for a variety of chinese food that usually are pretty good. My favorites are sesame, hot & spicy, and honey teriyaki. The sweet and sour are generally NOT good, but I have an awesome quickie recipe for that if you're in the mood!

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