Wednesday, October 9, 2013

beginner stir fry.

i had the honor last year of helping dr. maya adam teach an undergraduate level class in child nutrition at stanford. the class involved 1 lecture and 1 cooking class each week. students learned everything from how to chop garlic to how to make crepes. the goal was to show them how easy (and not scary) cooking can be. this stir fry was one of my favorite dishes we learned to make. it has since become a staple in my kitchen.

stir fries are definitely my go to dish when i'm cooking for myself or one other person. i like to vary the vegetables and the sauce, and am always amazed how little tweeks lead to be big changes in flavor and texture. this particular combination could not be easier or quicker. it takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. throw some garlic, ginger, and onion into a hot pan. add the veggies. top with herbs and sesame seeds. consume.

if you're new to the world of stir frying, this dish is an unintimidating and delicious place to start. and if you're a veteran sauteer looking for some new flavors, plum sauce may just become your new favorite ingredient.

beginner stir fry
inspired by maya adam’s just cook

1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil

1 head broccoli, chopped in florets
1/2 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
1 cup shitake mushrooms
1 zucchini, diced

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plum sauce
fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds

in a skillet or nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium high. once hot, add onion, garlic, and ginger. they should sizzle when they hit the pan. cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent.

add the rest of the vegetables and spread evening around the pan. let them sit and sear for 2-3 minutes before tossing. stir and cook for another 7-10 minutes until they are almost done.

whisk together the plum and soy sauces. add sauces to the pan and give it a toss so it coats the vegetables. cook for another 2-3 minutes until veggies are done. add a dash of ground pepper and cilantro. 

serve atop quinoa or your favorite grain. sprinkle with sesame seeds.