Stir-Fry Your Way

So many of the stir fry recipes that I see tell you to use a bottle of “stir fry sauce.” Where’s the technique in that? So I was pleased when I found this recipe from the April 2011 issue of All You (original here), that includes a sauce you make yourself. The recipe was developed by dietician Heidi McIndoo.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups of your favorite vegetables (broccoli cut into bite-size pieces, shredded carrots, thinly sliced red bell peppers, chopped onion or thin green beans)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks, canned in juice, drained, optional
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or whole-grain noodles

Directions

  1. Preheat a wok or large skillet on low.
  2. In a bowl, combine chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar.
  3. Turn heat up to high.
  4. Pour in 1 Tbsp. canola oil and, once hot, add half of chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove to a plate.
  6. Repeat with 1/2 Tbsp. oil and remaining chicken.
  7. Add vegetables and 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil to wok; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  9. Return chicken to wok; add pineapple, if desired.
  10. Pour in chicken broth mixture and stir well.
  11. Add cornstarch and stir until sauce thickens and becomes shiny.
  12. Serve over brown rice or whole-grain noodles. (Obviously white rice will also work.)

Pepper Steak Stir-Fry

A recipe from the May 2010 issue of All You (original not available online). The article highlights the recipe as a “dinner under $10” and credits the recipe to Margaret Mahoney of Fairdale, Kentucky.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb top round steak, cut into strips
  • Pepper
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded, chopped
  • 12 scallions, white and light green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Cooked rice, optional

Directions

  1. Warm ½ Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Season steak with pepper.
  3. Add half of steak to skillet and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until just brown.
  4. Remove to a plate; tent with foil.
  5. Repeat with another ½ Tbsp oil and remaining steak.
  6. Return reserved cooked steak to skillet.
  7. Add peppers, scallions, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and remaining 1 Tbsp oil to skillet.
  8. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, until steak is cooked through and vegetables are lightly browned but still crisp.
  9. Serve over rice, if desired.

Pork Lo Mein

A recipe from the September 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe suggests, “Try this family favorite for a quick weeknight meal—it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare. For variety, you can swap in another type of pasta that holds sauce well, such as fusilli or bow-tie pasta.”

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces soba noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 lean, boneless center-cut pork chops (about 12 oz. total), cut into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (from about 1/2 head)
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 cup snow peas, halved crosswise (about 3 oz.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Cook soba noodles until tender, about 5 minutes, or as package label directs (spaghetti will take longer, about 10 minutes). Drain.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, vinegar and broth.
  4. Add pork and toss to coat.
  5. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  6. Warm oil in a large nonstick wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Add pork and marinade; stir-fry until meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add cabbage and stir-fry until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in carrot and snow peas; cook, stirring vigorously, until snow peas are slightly softened yet firm, about 2 minutes.
  10. Stir in noodles and toss to coat with sauce and warm through, about 1 minute.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Divide mixture among 6 bowls, sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Variations

  • Customize this Asian meal to suit your tastes by swapping chicken breast or thigh strips for the pork, or use tofu for a meatless meal.