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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't seem to get stiry fry right - it's always either too watery, too goopy, or just downright bland. My produce delivery today is going to have chinese long beans and bok choy, and I would like to do a stir fry adding either chicken or tofu. I could really use some good ideas. I have a cupboard full of the standard asian ingredients, but apparently am unable to use them correctly. Please help - thank you!
 

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Are you using cornstarch in the sauce? I don't have a recipe per se to give you, but usually my sauce consists of about 1/2 cup of liquid (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sherry, ginger, garlic...those are some of my standard sauce ingredients) + 1 T cornstarch. I add this in at the very end, after the veggies have been sauteed and the meat/tofu added back in. Let it come to a boil, and it will immediately thicken up. Even at that point if you don't think it's thick enough, you can add more cornstarch. Just be sure to mix it separately in a small bowl with about 1/4 cup (or less) of cold water and then add it, otherwise it will get all gloppy.<br><br>
One idea to spice up your stir frying a bit is to start off with sauteed onions, garlic, ginger, and a little curry base. Then add your other veggies.<br><br>
One of my favorite stir fry dishes involving long beans and tofu doesn't actually use any sauce though.<br><br>
Tofu Preparation:<br>
Freeze and thaw tofu. Cut up into cubes and set aside. In a small bowl, beat (by hand) two eggs and mix in some seasonings. Some things I like: black bean sauce, garlic chili pepper sauce, salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder, etc.<br><br>
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, dip tofu cubes into egg mixture and add to frying pan. Turn over when bottom sides are browned. Continue turning as the tofu browns, at some point pouring remaining egg mixture over cubes.<br><br>
Stir Fry:<br>
Saute lots of garlic, onion, and ginger. Add beans, and stir fry until done (just a few minutes). At this point I like to add some (not a lot) Braggs Amino Acids here or soy sauce or something. Add in tofu cubes, and serve over rice with a bit of soy sauce if needed.
 

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I made a good one last night, using the cornstarch trick that Mere mentioned. Here's how I usually do it:<br><br>
Cube water-packed firm tofu and marinate it in a mixture of tamari, toasted sesame oil, lemon or orange juice, ginger (ground dried or fresh grated if there is time) and black pepper. I just eyeball the amounts. It dosn't matter because I'm going to thicken it at the end anyway.<br><br>
Wash and chop the bok choy. Peel and slice 5-6 garlic cloves. Open a can of pre-chopped water chestnuts (because I like them!) Slice a tomato or a carrot.<br><br>
Pour oil of your choice (I use olive, not so authentic I know!) onto pan and heat for one minute. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove garlic from oil and reserve. (It will keep cooking and get crispy.) Add tomato or carrot and stir fry briefly. Add bok choy and keep cooking until bok choy is wilted in the way you like. Add water chestnuts and tofu in its marinade.<br><br>
Now add about a tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot powder mixed well with about 3X as much water. Mix with food over heat so that the marinade will thicken slightly. The starch mixture should look like milk, so there are no lumps of translucent starch in the finished dish. Put the crispy garlic on top of the stir fry.<br><br>
Another way, if you don't like to use a thickener: serve the stir-fry mixed with noodles instead of over rice. The noodles will absorb the sauce and will be nicer for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yum, I am going to try both of those recipes - the long bean stir fry that Mere posted, and the bok choy that captain optimism posted too.<br><br>
I have used cornstarch, but I think I am adding everything at the wrong time, and it sounds like I need to be using a lot more garlic and onion for flavoring.
 

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I start by whisking together:<br>
1/4 cup soy sauce<br>
1/4 cup sherry(or white wine, in a pinch)<br>
1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar<br>
1/2 cupcold water (or broth)<br>
1 tablespoon soup base (vegetable or chicken)<br>
2 tablespoons corn starch<br>
1 teaspoon sesame oil<br>
2 or 3tablespoons sugar<br>
Set aside. Pour over your veggies shortly before they are as done as you want them to be.<br><br>
I would definitely agree that you build an important flavor base by starting your stir fry with minced garlic, (and Thai red chile paste, if you like heat) ginger, and your onions. (Start this off at lower heat, so as to not make your garlic bitter, then raise heat when it's time for the other veggies (or meat).<br><br>
Also, I love to add dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts at the last minute!<br><br>
peace,<br>
alsoSarah
 

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I made stir fry last night. The sauce was:<br>
water - about 1 cup<br>
soy sauce - about 1/4 cup<br>
Schetzhuan seasoning (with sesame seeds) - about 1 tbs.<br>
corn starch - about a shy 1/4 cup<br>
1 chicken top ramen packet<br>
Stir well in a measuring cup and add after all ingredients are hot.
 
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