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Old 03-04-2008, 03:30 PM   #1
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Quick stuff: Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic, Eggplant, Cabbage..

Hi there!
The veggies and fruits I have are:
Apples, Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic, Eggplant, Cabbage and tomatoes

The "meats" I have: (firm)Tofu, Chicken(drum) and hotdogs!

Carbs: Long noodle and rice


Hi everyone!
I've only started cooking this year, this is my last year of uni and eating out has gotten very expensive! Moreover, i've realized that I began to get sicker and weaker- ever since I've started cooking for myself, I've saved money and feel much better. I think i've done pretty well, I've gone from not being able to boil water, to stir-fries and baked chicken.

This is my question- How can I make my stirfry better? It's usually quite bland.

This is how I go about making it: I fry up a mix of tofu and choped hot-dogs over vegtable oil and butter. Add crushed garlic, choped eggplant, cabbage, onions, tomato and mushrooms- in that order (If I feel creative, il add a chopped apple). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and soy sauce- with some dabs of oyster sauce.

However, no matter what I do- it tastes kind-of bland!
Am I putting in too much vegtables? Does the order I put them in matter?
Help!

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Old 03-04-2008, 03:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deterius View Post
Hi there!
The veggies and fruits I have are:
Apples, Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic, Eggplant, Cabbage and tomatoes

The "meats" I have: (firm)Tofu, Chicken(drum) and hotdogs!

Carbs: Long noodle and rice


Hi everyone!
I've only started cooking this year, this is my last year of uni and eating out has gotten very expensive! Moreover, i've realized that I began to get sicker and weaker- ever since I've started cooking for myself, I've saved money and feel much better. I think i've done pretty well, I've gone from not being able to boil water, to stir-fries and baked chicken.

This is my question- How can I make my stirfry better? It's usually quite bland.

This is how I go about making it: I fry up a mix of tofu and choped hot-dogs over vegtable oil and butter. Add crushed garlic, choped eggplant, cabbage, onions, tomato and mushrooms- in that order (If I feel creative, il add a chopped apple). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and soy sauce- with some dabs of oyster sauce.

However, no matter what I do- it tastes kind-of bland!
Am I putting in too much vegtables? Does the order I put them in matter?
Help!
Hot dogs in stir fry .. NO!!

Cut your chicken off the bone. get the oil hot, forget the butter. First in is your chicken, get it started. When it's about 1/2 done put in your aromatics(onion, garlic etc). At the last minute toss in your veggies, diced or sliced thin. Quick cook those add your salt and pepper pull off and add the soy if desired.

Feed the hotdog to your pet or save it for just a hotdog sandwich. Not a good meat for stir fry..

Some people put the onion and garlic in before the meat, but I find they tend to burn if you do that.

I also use a little sweet and sour or fish sauce, whatever I have over it right before I pull it off the heat.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:09 PM   #3
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Wecome aboard Deterius.

Overcooked veggies can be bland. Not saying you do that.

Some ginger always adds a nice tang.

When your dish is almost done may want to add a bit of chicken stock, it gives a nice flavor. Let if cook down a bit and then thicken with cornstarch if desired.

Fish sauce is nice, so is hoisin.

Agree with losing the butter and as much as I like hotdogs would use boned chicken.

Tofu is fine also.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:15 PM   #4
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nice! Going to try this tonight!

Chicken stock- on one hand, I think is still beyond me.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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I found that the "thing" missing from Fried Rice for me was Sesame Oil. It gave it that Chinese flavor that was missing... even with the hot dogs!

Do what the others instruct above, but try using sesame oil for your fat, or Peanut Oil with a splash of sesame oil and I think you'll be surprised.

Also, at the end of cooking, make a well in the center of the rice so you can see the bottom of the pan, and pour in one beaten egg and scramble it right into the dish. It's not on your list, but you likely have em in your fridge.
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Deterius View Post
nice! Going to try this tonight!

Chicken stock- on one hand, I think is still beyond me.
Look in the soups department of your grocery store..You will find chicken, beef, veggie stock there..No need to make it yourself.

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Old 03-04-2008, 05:36 PM   #7
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Good idea-
Now, i usually don't do the fry rice, I just serve my creation of the steamed rice.


However, I still think peanut oil or/and sesame oil will be good-

-- Now, do I replace my vegetable oil altogether? Or just mix it in?
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:59 PM   #8
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I would slice the eggplant into 1/2" medallions, sprinkle with lemon juice (if you have it), salt, pepper and garlic powder (again, if you have it). Dredge in seasoned flour, dip in egg beaten with a little milk or water, then back in the flour. Melt a couple tbls of butter in a skillet, add a couple more tbls of olive oil (or just use vegetable oil, whatever you have), and fry on med/high until brown on one side before turning. When both sides are browned, drain on paper towels, then remove to a plate.

In the meantime, slice the cabbage into wedges, remove core and chop coarsely. Chop the onion, mince garlic (reserve about 1 tbl for tomatoes), and slice the hot dogs diagonally. Put a few tbls of olive oil or other fat in a deep skillet or even a Dutch oven, and dump in cabbage mixture. Season with S&P, add about 1/4 cup water or chicken broth, and cook, covered, tossing mixture often, until cabbage is wilted and crisp tender.

Slice the tomato in 3/8-1/2" slices, and put on foil covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with S&P, garlic, oregano (or basil, or thyme) and parmesan (or other cheese), drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 350 degrees while the other things are cooking.

Plate up the fried eggplant "steaks" with a roasted tomato on top and the cabbage and hot dogs on the side.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deterius View Post
Good idea-
Now, i usually don't do the fry rice, I just serve my creation of the steamed rice.


However, I still think peanut oil or/and sesame oil will be good-

-- Now, do I replace my vegetable oil altogether? Or just mix it in?
I'm sorry, I don't know where I got the idea that you said fried rice. If you do want to do fried rice with your ingredients, don't use the veg oil at all.

Chop the onion and saute over med-high heat in a tablespoon of peanut oil until translucent. Next add your mushrooms, eggplant and cabbage to the pan with the onions and cook until soft. Add a drizzle of sesame oil, soy, and oyster sauce and then dump your rice right into the pan, stirring until warmed throughout.

If you are using egg, increase the heat to high and make a well in the rice. Pour a lightly beaten egg in the well and scramble. Don't worry if some of the rice sticks to it.

Add the tomato at the end so it doesn't lose its "integrity."
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:06 PM   #10
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After Action Report:

After Action Report:
Well I couldn't implement all your ideas just due to time, money and ingredient constraints, but I did as much as I could;
I started cooking my meats first, followed by garlic and onion, with some sesame oil and I borrowed some peanut oil as well.
Then when it was fairly well cooked, I added the rest of the veggies (and yes, the an apple as well) and quickly seasoned- I was cooking the whole time on 'high' and quickly add S&P, Shoyu, and oyster sauce. Quickly mixed everything up, not letting it overcooked-

In the meantime, while I couldn't do eggplant "stakes" I did cook them separately, i boiled them, and then fried them up with shoyu and long beans (which I forgot to mention I had).

And it tasted-- delicious! That was amazing! for the first time I didn't have the urge to use large amounts of ketchup and hot-sauce to hide my cooking! It tasted great, by changing the order, limiting cooking time of some vegetables and adding a few new oils, the taste changed dramatically!

My last question would be about cabbage- like eggplant it seems to cook diffrently than other vegtables, I imagine it should be pretty welted when served? Or can it be a little crispy?

Thanks again all, that really helped me!
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