Fridge-Clearing Stir Fry

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.

The Starch

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.

The Protein

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.

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4 Responses to “Fridge-Clearing Stir Fry”

  1. Dione (TakeADeepBreath) Says:

    Geez. I wish I was this creative and healthy in my cooking. Are you a vegetarian? I’m not and dont plan on being, but I was just wondering.

    Keep the recipes coming, perhaps if I ate more like this and didn’t feel the need to add so many “bad ingredients” to my food… well who knows?

  2. Susan Says:

    i love making stir fry too and this post just made me starving!
    it’s great advice, i think you’re a way more creative and less lazy stir fryer (?) than i am.

    more recipes please!

  3. pennyplastic Says:

    Hell no, not a vegetarian!

    That said, I don’t eat a lot of red meat. I LOVE hitting up Outback Steakhouse (shhhhh don’t tell anyone) for a filet. David’s parents are always cooking roasts and lamb and stuff but I hate fat so I pick it apart.

    I mostly eat chicken and fish – fish being my favorite.

    Don’t feel bad about not being a vegetarian. Many I’ve known have AWFUL diets filled with starch.

  4. Diziet_Sma Says:

    I just made a stir-fry, roughly following your instructions here (added shrimp), and it was DELICIOUS. Thank you, from the bottom of my & my husband’s tummies.

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