Got a stir-fry question SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com subscriber Karen:
Chef Perry, how to make stir fry as nice as in the takeaway?
I’ve bought egg noodles, mixed stir fry veg, prawns and chicken, soy sauce, and 5 spice, I fried it all up in sesame oil infused with ginger and garlic and the whole thing taste really bland, if I add more soy sauce it doesn’t taste any better and then if I add more it just taste salty and gross, the spices don’t add much flavor either they seem more aromatic than tasty.
HOW DO I GET IT TO TASTE YUMMY LIKE AT THE CHINESE TAKEAWAY?
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You’re right, more soy sauce is just going to make it saltier. Second, frozen veggies are going to be bland (sorry). Fresh veggies aren’t going to cost much more, or take long to cut up…but they’re going to have SO much more flavor.
Also, I like to cook my stir-fry meat separate (with spices) from the veggies, and then toss them together at the last minute. This keeps the flavors more separate.
Add some more fresh sliced ginger and chopped garlic, maybe some mushroom powder.
Here’s my own favorite stir-fry recipe (below).
Flank Steak, Asparagus & Red Pepper Stir Fry
Active Time: 25 min.
Total Time: 30 min.
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 lb. asparagus, chopped
1 lb. of flank steak
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 tsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. water
1 cup long-grain rice
All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger, peeled, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. chili oil (opt.)
Slice the flank steak in half lengthwise (along the grain) and then cut into thin strips, 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick (put the steak in the freezer for 15 min. before slicing to make it easier to slice). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Trim asparagus by removing the thick-wood like ends, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Remove the seeds and ribs from pepper; then cut into strips 2-inches long and 1/4-inch wide.
While chopping the ingredients in preparation, bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Parboil the asparagus pieces for 2 minutes, drain, rinse in cold water, drain, and set aside. In a separate pan, prepare rice, following the package instructions.
Prepare the All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce by combining the ingredients in a small dish, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water, stirring to remove any lumps.
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Stir-fry the asparagus in a wok (or a thick-bottomed pan that can take high heat) in half of the veggie oil, on high heat, for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove asparagus from pan and set aside.
Add the remaining veggie oil, sesame oil, and chili oil (opt) to the pan and stir-fry the beef strips for 2-3 minutes until browned but still pink inside; remove meat to a cool plate. Add the bell pepper to the pan, stir and toss over high heat until just beginning to wilt, 1-2 minutes.
Quickly stir the cornstarch liquid and add it to the pan along with the stir fry sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, 1-2 minutes. Return the asparagus and meat to the pan, toss to evenly coat and serve with steamed white rice.
Note: For a quicker, slightly simpler preparation, you can buy bottles stir-fry sauce, but, trust me, not only is it likely to be loaded with salt and sugar…it’s not going to taste nearly as good as what you can make yourself.
Note 2: I’ve made the recipe with some thin-sliced fresh mushrooms added while the steak is cook…very nice!