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.


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.



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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