Monday, August 11, 2008


I haven't made stir-fry in awhile. I don't know why, but I haven't really been in the mood. However, with school starting next week, we will probably be stir-frying more for several reasons:
1. It's fast.
2. It can be done entirely from pantry and freezer items.
3. A monkey can do it, even while reading her Bus. Orgs. Textbook.

To stir fry, I usually use three ingredients:
-Costco stir fry vegetables (also available at the grocery store, but I like having a 10lb bag of veggies in the freezer).
-Tofu or shrimp (depending on what is on hand. I also buy the shrimp at costco. Costco does not yet sell giant bags of frozen, sliced tofu, but when they do, I will do a dance.)
-Stir fry sauce/marinade. I've already written an ode to the yellow curry sauce at Trader Joe's, but I'm also a fan of any kind of sweet and sour sauce, or soy sauce mixture. Mark will just use straight up soy sauce, but I find it extremely salty. I like to peruse the stir-fry aisle at my local hippie mart or mega mart to find new mixtures.

I use the following equipment:
-a Wok
-a cutting board, if I'm using tofu; a colander if I'm using shrimp.

We finally broke down and bought a wok last fall. We got the smallest, cheapest wok we could find that fit my strict requirements:
1. Either not too heavy or had an additional handle. (That is one long handle and one small handle perpendicular on the opposite side of the wok.)
2. Nonstick coating.
3. Made of thick enough metal that the first time I left the stove on too long, it wouldn't burn.
My dream wok was something like this.
We wound up getting something more like this. (I think ours was $20 at an outlet.)
At least it came with a lot of extra bamboo pieces for steaming or something. I don't use them - anyone know how to use any of them? Because I can't put my frozen vegetables on that bamboo rack. I sometimes use the spoon. And the chopsticks, but only to see if my cakes are done in the center.

I do recommend a wok. You can get a cheap one that will still be better for stir frying than the average frying pan. This is mostly because frying pans do not fit enough food, and you can't push all the vegetables up on the side while you cook the shrimp or tofu at the end of the meal.

I don't actually know how to use a wok. I'm sure there are real methods of using them, but I stick with my hamburger helper approach. (1 Pound of Hamburger + 1 Pan = 1 Happy Family)

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