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23 May 2009 @ 08:36 pm
How to make love to Stir Fry: Photo spam inc!  
I've finally perfected my stir fry recipie. This was hastened by the fact that I can't find my favorite stir fry sauce anywhere in town anymore. While it's still made, I'd have to order off the internet or some other nonsense, so I learned how to make my sauce from scratch. Thank you, Mongolian Grill for labelling all your strange sauces!

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What you need:

Chicken- I use half a package of skinless breast tenders, and save the other half for chicken fried rice with rice leftovers.

Veggies- Use what you like! I am using carrots, broccoli, and onion here.
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~Approx 1/2 gigantic 10/15 sweet texas onion
~2 handfuls of matchstick carrots
~1 1/2-ish heads of broccoli. This really depends on whether or not your store has any good broccoli in, or if you're stuck with tiny rubbery heads

~1 cup of uncooked rice (enough for 3 portions for people who love rice. Make 2 cups if you want leftovers for fried rice on the next day)
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~Sesame seeds for garnish

Sauce stuff!:

~Soy sauce: Light or dark. I prefer light, but you can combine the two, too!
~Pinapple juice
~Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
~sesame seed oil
~Ponzu sauce (citrus soy)
1-2 tbs of minced garlic, or a few shakes of garlic powder, to taste.
~Anything else is optional, from a little bit of orange juice for a sweeter sauce, to coconut juice, etc.


How the hell to make it: Prep work is your freind

~The first thing you want to do is get your rice going. By the time you finish prepping and cooking your meat& veg, the rice will be ready to go. Rinse it and toss it in the rice cooker! If you need to know how to make it in a pot, don't ask me. I love my rice cooker.

While the rice is cooking, you need to marinate your chicken. If you like the buttery flavor of the veggies from most hibachi places, you don't want to drown your veggies in sauce at the end of it all. I toss the sauce together and marinate the chicken in it, personally. You have the option of mixing it all together and reserving a little bit to splash on everything at the end, though.

In a plastic container, mix the following:

3 parts soy
2 parts pinapple juice
1 part mirin
1 part ponzu
1/2 part sesame oil
1-2 tbs of minced garlic, or a few shakes of garlic powder, to taste.

After you clean your chicken, toss it in there and mix it together really well. You can let that sit and soak covered, on the counter, until you're ready for it.
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Next up, veggies!
Prep and clean the veggies of your choice. Keep in mind that types like cabbage and onion will lose a lot of moisture and cook down considerably, so use a little more cabbage than you think you need. If you've picked out an onion as large as a baby's head (They grow that big in texas), you will only want about half to 1/3 of it, and it will still seem like a ton. Don't worry, it cooks down!
The way I portion everything is kind of simple and not very precise. I use the same large bowl every time and layer onion on the bottom. Then, I cover the onion with a few handfuls of carrot. After that, I cover the top with broccoli until I can't see anything else.

Notice here that I split the broccoli forets in half with a knife to help them cook more evenly

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Last prep step! Prep your pan!

Take some of that sesame seed oil and a generous pat of butter, and stick those in your pan. This is about what I use.

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Time to cook that bitch!

You want to nuke this sucker at your highest possible heat setting. I love my gas stove for this, seriously. Keep a very close eye on it while you are melting your butter and heating your oil, though. Both butter and sesame oil have very low burn temps. You pretty much want to toss your veggies in there as soon as you see the butter start bubbling and fizzing.

When you dump in the veggies, it will look somthing like this!
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From here on out, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PAN UNATTENDED!
Things happen very quickly here. It may not seem like it, but I guarantee if you leave to go to the bathroom, you're going to come back to sad, black, broccoli.

After you toss your veggies in, let it rest for about half a min, then start stirring it occassionally and moving things around. You want to keep going until the onions start changing. Once they become sort of translucent, you'll be ready for the chicken. Flash makes it hard to see, but it's kind of cooked here!

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When I add the chicken, I like to make a little hole in the middle of the veggies. I stir everything really well and move the veggies out to the sides, and leave the glorious middle portion for the chicken. You should have more than enough room to spread everything around in there with one even layer of chicken.

If you are marinating an entire package at once, reserve half for your second stir-fry, or your second-day fried rice.

Raw chicken looks like this!!

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You cook it like this until the chicken is browned on the bottom. If you know fuckall about cooking, just keep an eye on it until you see the chicken start to turn white on the sides. It'll look like a magic technicolor shirt creeping up from the bottom up!

During this time, while the chicken is in the middle and the veggies are on the outside, your veggies are in mortal danger. It's a good idea to pick up the pan and slide it quickly towards and away from yourself to shake things a little bit. Don't try any of that fancy "Toss it up in the air" crap, or your floor will be getting most of your dinner. Unless, of course, you're good at that. Then be my guest.

ANYWHO

You want to shake it like that once or twice to keep the veggies and chicken from sticking to the bottom. Once the color comes up, you're ready to flip the chicken over and introduce it to it's freinds.

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At this point, you're almost done. Your dish will be done when the chicken is cooked all the way through. You're still in a dangerous position, though, since you're working with very high heat and broccoli that can potentially be very sad. Make sure that you're mixing/shaking/moving your food around often. Hey! I think I know why it's called stir-fry now!

Again, if you know fuckall about cooking, you're going to have a hard time figuring out when your chicken is done. If you flipped it when I told you, it wont' take very long, but you're best off breaking a few little peices in half and making sure there is ABSOLUTELY NO PINK If you think maybe you see pink but you really can't tell, it's ok to cook it a few min longer, as long as you're stirring things up well and keeping things from burning.

When the chicken is done, it's time to eat!

Let people go nuts with the rice and the stir fry, but don't let them leave the kitchen until you get a chance to shake a few sprinkles of sesame seeds on there. NOM NOM NOM

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This recipie feeds 2 starving people, or 3 not-starving people. If you bought 3 broccoli crowns and marinated all your chicken, you have enough for another meal the same size the next day!

Or you could be totally lazy and go to the Asian market, buy some fried rice mix (MSG yay!) and make awesome fried rice! It's super easy, too. you just take some peanut oil in your big pan, heat it up, dump in your leftover chicken and some onion, and brown it. When you flip the chicken, push it to one side and scramble 1-2 eggs in the other side. Mix it all together, dump your rice in, heat it for another 5 min (stirring constantly) and then dump the packet of fried rice flavoring in. Cook that for another 2-3 min, and it tastes like you did so much more work than you really did. It's awesome.
 
 
 
Aino Minako-chanminakokouchou on May 24th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
I totally misread your subject line and thought that you were making a spam stirfry. ^_^ Am very glad it's actually chicken, because it looks very yum. I may have to try this!
HIDE your facekyonomiko on May 24th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
I've never been a big fan of spam, but I know some people love the stuff. It could probably work in stir fry >..>
(Anonymous) on May 24th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC)
stirfry
Great job Becky, guess I have to copy this. You really ought to write a book, you make cooking sound so interesting. For someone who couldn't or didn't like to cook, what a change. If we get there in February, you will have to cook some for me.
Grandma
HIDE your facekyonomiko on May 24th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
Re: stirfry
If I made a cookbook, I think it would have like 4 recipies in it. haha!
I'll make this for whoever wants some. :D It's overall pretty healthy, and as long as you don't go crazy with the soy sauce, relatively low sodium compared to restaurant Chinese. The fat content comes exclusively from the sesame oil and butter, and for the ammount of food it preps, I consider it to have a tolerable ammount of fat for a nice savory flavor.
Nerdy Temptressbevo on May 26th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
You just made me hungry...and its only 8:40 in the am