Yield: 1 servings
Credit the Chinese with perfecting the technique called "stir-frying." Their quick | and easy cooking method pairs lean meats and flavorful vegetables. Use one pan and just a scant amount of fat. And don't expect all stir-fry recipes to call for Oriental foods or seasonings.
An Italian stir-fry recipe may call for tomatoes and basil served with pasta; a Mexican recipe might include bell peppers, jalaper-lo peppers, garlic or onion. Serve this combination over shredded lettuce or crisp tortillas. Because stir-frying is a quick-cooking process, be sure to have all ingredients ready before you start.
Select tender meats for stir-fry recipes. Slice meats across the grain when possible. This technique involves cutting through or against rather
than in the same direction as the meat fibers - doing so makes the meat more tender and easier to chew. Both meats and vegetables should be cut uniformly so they will cook uniformly.
To be a successful stir-fry cook, remember to: % Be sure the skillet or wok is large enough to hold food without overcrowding; otherwise the food will steam. Most ingredients need to be cooked in batches to prevent overcrowding. For example, one pound of meat should always be stir-fried in two batches.
% Stir-fry over medium to medium high heat in a traditional wok, or other utensil such as a large, heavy skillet.
% During stir-frying, food should be turned continuously. Use a scooping motion to ensure even cooking.
% Do not cover the pan while stir-frying or the food will steam.
% Meat should be stir-fried just until cooked through - it usually takes only a minute or two. Cooked, ready-to-serve deli-style meats should only be heated.
% Cook vegetables until crisp-tender and still brightly colored. Group vegetables according to the time it takes them to cook. Begin with those requiring the longest time, then add remaining vegetables.
Select vegetables such as asparagus, baby corn, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, garlic, green beans, green onions, jalapeno peppers, leeks, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, spinach, tomatoes, yellow squash or zucchini.
% Meat and vegetables should be cooked separately, then combined at the end of cooking.
% To add flavor (if desired), marinate meat 15-20 minutes while preparing other ingredients.
Drain well before cooking.
From the files of Al Rice, North Pole Alaska. Feb 1994