I was poking around the fridge this afternoon looking for lunch, and saw that I had some miscellaneous vegetables and a little tupperware filled with steamed white rice left from a dinner earlier in the week.
Stir fry seemed logical.
This wasn’t a stretch for me, I make stir fry as often as some people make….I don’t know, mac and cheese. I did, however, decide to post about it, because I fancy myself somewhat of a Master Stir Fryer.
Like I said, I had about a cup of steamed rice in the fridge. I often make fried rice with leftover cold rice, but that is more of a complete meal and I didn’t have enough anyhow.
I decided to make a rice cake – and it failed miserably, but it tasted great! I threw the rice into a bowl and added about half of an egg white. I added a dash of Cayenne pepper, ginger and salt and mixed (and mushed). I then formed a patty and, because it was loose, covered it in saran wrap and threw it in the freezer.
I grilled the “patty” on a sauté pan with about 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and a dash of sesame oil.
It fell apart, but like I said, it was yummy.
Alternatives & Notes
- Quick boil some noodles (egg, pasta, whatever) and toss with a bit of sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and perhaps a tiny bit of powdered ginger.
- Minute rice, it’ll do!
- If all else fails, use ramen noodles. Rinse them in water, boil and make sure to not add the flavor packet.
- Couscous, it cooks fast.
- Anything else! Barley, Quinoa, etc. Maybe not mashed potatoes, though.
The Stir Fry
I had some mushrooms, zucchini, savoy cabbage, red pepper and carrots. I decided on the first three.
I have a few rules when it comes to stir fry – don’t overdo it on the oil, you can never use too many vegetables, add some heat, don’t overcook the vegetables and always add nuts.
PSA – NUTS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER!
My method pretty much goes like this, with a few variations:
- Start with a bit of oil (use a combination of vegetable, sesame oil and a tiny dash of hot chili oil). Heat it in a wok or sauté pan.
- Add smashed garlic, a hunk of ginger and a dash of Cayenne pepper. Don’t heat it too high or it will all burn, you want everything to “sweat out” its flavor.
- Toss in vegetables in the order of how they cook. For instance, if you are using carrots, start with those. Using spinach? End with that.
- In the course of cooking the vegetables, I usually add a dash of dry wine or soy sauce or Kung Pao sauce. Don’t add too much liquid – especially if you are using a vegetable that loses a lot of water (like mushrooms). Keep an eye on the vegetables, if they are starting to burn but are not cooked through, add wine, soy sauce or water.
- Toast some nuts and add to the top. Cashews and almonds are the best for this dish.
Alternatives & Notes
- Frozen or canned vegetables. I am not a fan, but they are better than nothing.
- Don’t be afraid of seasonal vegetables, even butternut squash or chard.
- Don’t be stingy with the leafy greens – a large bunch (or bag) of spinach will cook down to nothing.
I did not add any protein to this particular dish, but we usually use tofu. Obviously you can add anything you like – shrimp, beef, poultry, fish. My only recommendation is this: cook it separately.