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Old 10-07-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
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Question To stir-fry or not to stir-fry?

Hi everyone! I need some help. My hubby has recently become a stir-fry fanatic and I don't have the slightest clue on how to make it or what it takes. I personally am not a big fan of chinese, asian, or other foods of this sort as unfortunately, my stomach can't handle it. He loves it and I want to try it for a special dinner one night. Can anyone please help?


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Old 10-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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If this is your first time and only your husband is going to eat it, I would suggest buying one of the frozen ready to make stir fry kits. You can find them in any large supermarket right around the frozen vegetables.

It should say oriental stir fry mix or something to that effect. Look for the ones that have a sauce pouch in it. This makes your job even easier, else you may have to buy a sauce bottle (stir fry sauce) if a pouch is not there. I would recommend if you dont find a packet with a sauce pouch, buy some brand of teriyaki glaze (should be in the ethnic isle, it's sweet and salty and really good).

To make the stir fry you need a wok or any other similar type deep fry pan. Add a tiny (1 tbsp) of oil to it and crank up the heat so that the oil is smoking hot. Next add the frozen veggie packet and cook it on high for 5 minutes or so. Add the sauce pouch or if there is no pouch, add 1/2 bottle of the kikomon or anyother teriyaki glaze you find in your super market. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve over white rice or noodles. I like to use wheat sphagetti as my noodles. I break the sphagetti into three and cook it just like pasta and then drain it and serve the veggies over the noodles.

If you want you can also add meat to the veggies. Just get a few chicken breasts or lean steak and cut them into thin strips. Add the meat first to the smoking hot oil and cook them until no longer pink, then add the veggies and then the sauce.

Hope that helps.

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Old 10-08-2008, 07:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yakuta View Post
If this is your first time and only your husband is going to eat it, I would suggest buying one of the frozen ready to make stir fry kits.
I hate those things. Adding frozen anything to a hot wok will cause the wok's temperature to drop, and melt the ice crystals into water and ruin the stir fry.

If I were you, I would stick to some fresh veggies and some bottled sauce. If you decide to take the frozen kit route, I would bring the veggies up to room temperature and use paper towels to sop up any excess moisture before adding to the wok.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:32 AM   #4
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I would try the fresh route, but like I said, don't know what to put in besides baby corns, I know he like those. Also, where he eats the stir fry, they told him they cook the rice 24 hours before eating, don't know why. Got any suggestions? Like I said, this is one area that I'm totally not experienced to. I'll try to cook anything, but something like this is new to me.

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Old 10-08-2008, 11:22 AM   #5
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First, stir-fry is a method of cooking not a recipe. Moo Goo Gai Pan is a chicken stir-fry recipe made with chicken, mushrooms and snow peas mainly with a gravy but no baby corn - Chicken with Mixed Vegetables would probably have baby corn (it does at the places aroud here).

The only reason, that I know of, a restaurant would make rice 24-hours in advance would be for fried rice. This allows the starch to retrograde (crystalize) and firm up ... if you try to make fried rice with fresh rice you would just end up with a gloppy pasty mush. Steamed rice is always served fresh.

Find out what dishes your husband likes and I'm sure we can help you find a recipe for it and help you get started.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:10 PM   #6
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I just googled stir fry help and there were a lot of hits, including some videos. You could also look in a second hand book store or new book store for a chinese cooking or stor fry guide. Look at the books carefully and choose one where you can understand the writing and with smallish ingridient lists.

You can stir fry a lot of things - the big hint is that you should have all the pieece the same size so they cook together. Over here you can buy fresh packs of pre cut stir fry vegetables.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:35 PM   #7
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mel, i agree with bowler about the frozen stir fry mixes. it's better to use fresh veggies. and miniman is quite correct, that the veggies need to be evenly and fairly thin sliced so they all cook together at the same time.

one tip is not to cook them too long or they'll turn to mush. in fact, you should cook them a little less than you think as they'll continue to cook from residual heat after being removed from the wok.

also, i avoid jarred chinese sauces. too much salt for my taste. as the veggies are stir frying, i add soy sauce, equal amounts of minced garlic and ginger, a little chicken stock and a little butter to make a sauce, thickening it with a corn starch slurry.

if you don't mind cheating a bit, check out some local chinese places to see if they'll make you a half pint of sauce on the side, and use that over your veggies.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:41 PM   #8
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thanks for the tips, gave me ideas
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:48 PM   #9
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As far as stir frying goes, there is also an order you would put the veggies in. Those that may take a little longer would go in first ( celery, pepper,bok choy, broccoli, and the quicker frying veggies, or those u want more crisp would be added last minute ( snow peas, bean sprouts...) I also add the canned stuff ( baby corn, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts) at the end. Also, most stir fries, the veggies ( or what ever ) are prepared to bite sized pieces so the cook quickly, and a knife is ( usually) not needed. Wok must be hot hot hot. at the end, Ill add a little corn starch/ broth mixture along with some soy sauce, drop of sesame oil and whatever other chinese sauce I have laying around.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:13 PM   #10
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Wouldn't you say that at first you season the oil with garlic and then take the garlic and or ginger out before it browns very much? Then, brown the pork, beef, or chicken, (marinated in soy or other marinades and cornstarch) slightly and then take that out? Then add the vegetables in an order that would cook the more dense ones first and the fastest cooking ones last? Then add back the mean/poultry, then heat and the sauce is added to thicken and coat everything?

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