I have spent way too much of my life trying to figure out the key to good stir-fry. I have literally ruined woks upon woks of food with stir-fry that your dog would run away from. Which is a shame because the southerner in me makes a lot of food at one time. So that’s loads upon loads of yummy veggies in the garbage or us suffering through a giant bowl of ick! And if you know me, you know that I do not eat with the intention of eating something that doesn’t taste great!
So out of the blue one weekend I picked up baby bok choy at the farmers’ market. I simply love this stuff. However, since the baby bok choy looked so great, I decided to give stir-fry one last shot and totally wing it. Forget these recipes online that I’d been trying to recreate! So that’s just what I did.
I’m not sure why but I started with 10 cloves of garlic and about 2 inches of fresh ginger minced. Thank you mini food processor! You are going to think this is way too much. In fact, when I started cooking it all together I was worried I had ruined what was sure to be my LAST stir-fry! But lo and behold, this is exactly what my past stir-frys had been missing! Eureka!
With that said, here’s the breakdown:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
*I cut these into tiny pieces
½ eggplant, diced
½ red pepper, sliced
½ red onion, sliced
1 pkg shitake mushrooms, sliced
handful green beans
3 heads baby bok choy, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
2” fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper sauce
2 single serving packages Udon noodles
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ or less cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Put your wok (or whatever pan you’re using) over medium-high head. Put a little olive oil into the wok and sauté chicken until its cooked. A little tip here, leave the chicken for 2 minutes longer than you think it needs before you stir it up. This will get one side brown and crunchy. Cook the chicken all the way through and set aside in a bowl. Then put 2 Tbsp. olive oil in the wok, add the garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper sauce. Stir that around for several minutes until the flavors are completely in the oil. Add all the veggies and toss around until your veggies are wilted, but not soft. Approximately 10-12 minutes. You may need to add more oil while cooking but use sparingly. Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and sesame seeds in a bowl. You may need to microwave it a minute to break down the honey. After your veggies are at the right tenderness, add the chicken back in and stir in the soy sauce mixture. Cook for a few more minutes tossing around until the mixture is evenly distributed and the chicken is warmed back up. This time I threw in Udon noodles because I had previously picked them up at Reliable Market in Union Square (which I recommend you visit). But normally, I would put it over brown rice.
You should know that these veggies are not set in stone. Use whatever you like. Just make sure it’s veggie laden and you’ll be all set. You could use shrimp too, but I had chicken. Really anything can be substituted EXCEPT the garlic and ginger. Do not remove this part, it’s the most important!
Aaaaand TAAADAAAA! It was amazing! Yeeehaw! I took on the stir-fry and I won! And we didn’t have to choke down another terrible stir-fry and never will again!