The specialty pan for a stir-fry is the Chinese wok but it isn’t necessary to have one. You can achieve the same results with a large skillet. I usually put my electric skillet to work when I want stir-fry.
Stir-fry is finished very quickly and therefore, all food should be at your fingertips, chopped and ready for cooking. This prep work can be done the night before and stored in zip-type bags in the refrigerator.
When cutting vegetables, the straight-cut method is used for tender vegetables such as zucchini but the harder vegetables, such as carrots, should be cut diagonally so that more of the vegetable will touch the cooking surface.
When making the following Beef and Veggie Stir-fry, I have found that the steak will slice much easier if it has been partially frozen. Remember it is important that the steak be sliced across the grain. I like to use very thin slices of beef in this recipe. This stir-fry is equally as good when made with chicken.
If you like shrimp, the Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-fry will probably find favor with your palate. This is a more elegant version of stir-fry so it’s a great dish to serve when you have special guests.
Stir-fry is also great for vegetarians. In addition to your favorite vegetables, you might want to try adding some chopped or sliced portabella mushrooms.
Beef and Veggie Stir-fry
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
3/4 cup coarsely chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper (red bell pepper, if available; if not, use green)
3/4 cup sliced celery
3/4 cup sliced zucchini
3/4 cup sliced yellow squash
3/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 pound sirloin steak (about 1/2 inch thick), sliced paper thin
6 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 to 4 cups cooked rice
In wok or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to approximately 375 F. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté just until tender, stirring constantly. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add 2 more tablespoons oil and the celery, zucchini, yellow squash and carrots and cook just until crisp-tender. Remove to plate with slotted spoon. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the wok or skillet and sauté the steak just until it begins to change color. Add the vegetables back to the skillet. Add the soy sauce and stir. Serve immediately over rice.
Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-fry
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. tender fresh pencil-size asparagus, cut into short pieces
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
Salt to taste
1/2 lb shelled and de-veined small shrimp
2 tablespoons Hollandaise sauce mix
2 teaspoons lite soy sauce
Heat butter and olive oil in large skillet. Add asparagus, bell pepper and mushrooms. Sauté until tender crisp. Add salt, if needed. Add shrimp and stir-fry until shrimp turns pink. Sprinkle with sauce mix and soy sauce. Mix well. Serve over rice.
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