Stir fries with meat, vegies and noodles or rice are one of my weeknight staples. They are quick and easy ….not really worthy of an entry in a blog!
However, looking through my previous posts, so many of my meals are slow cooked or indulgent and heavy. Although I do love cooking that type of food, quick, light, lean and vegie-filled meals are really what I cook from day-to-day. I want this blog to be as much a reflection of my cooking style as it is a gallery of special one-off meals. For that reason, I decided to make an entry for last night’s chicken stir fry with hokkein noodles.
As anyone who cooks stir fries will know, the key to any stir fry is speed. I don’t usually have my vegies all cut up and prepared in advance like I did for these photos – I usually multi-task in a whirlwind of knives and chopping boards, onion flying everywhere, dicing chicken while the wok heats up, crushing garlic and ginger while the chicken browns, chopping baby corn while the garlic cooks, slicing snow peas while the noodles soften, and stopping to give a quick stir as I go. Needless to say, I am a bit of a messy cook and I have a bit of a habit of cutting myself. Its faster, yes, but not very relaxing.
It is so, so much easier to be prepared!
So, that said, here are my neatly prepared vegies, chicken, garlic and ginger.
I use an electric wok when I make stir fries. Cheating? Perhaps! But I don’t have a gas burner, and my electric wok is non-stick, so if its cheating, well, I don’t mind.
It doesn’t get quite as hot as a normal wok, but it comes close. For anyone who doesn’t have one, I highly recommend it. You can actually use it to make just about anything. Before we were married, hubby used his not only for stir fries, but for curries and even pasta sauces.
I started by browning the chicken. While my wok is still new, shiny and non-stick, I took the opportunity to skip the oil. I often use beef or lamb or prawns instead of chicken, and you could use just about any protein, or leave it out all together if you are looking for a vegie stirfry.
As soon as the chicken started to brown, I added the ginger, garlic and chilli.
Looking back through my previous entries, just about everything I cook contains chilli. Am I obsessed? Maybe a little! I aim to cook something without chilli at least once a week, but honestly, with fresh chilli, chilli flakes, chilli sauce, tobasco, and pickled jalapeno on hand, something hot always ends up in the pan.
About a year ago, hubby heard about a new record-breaking chilli developed in Australia (I think it has since been dethroned as the hottest in the world). I went online and bought him a selection of chilli sauces, including Scorpion Strike Stupidly Hot BBQ Sauce. A few weeks ago, we were at a local market and saw the same sauces. We bought a bottle of the Stupidly Hot BBQ Sauce to give to hubby’s parents, and a bottle of Chilli Chocolate Sauce Cranky Croc Choc for us. (Don’t you love the names!!!) I might have to feature some of these sauces on my blog in the future.
Anyway, I digress…
After the garlic, ginger and, of course, chilli, I added in all tougher vegies, the ones that need a few minutes to cook through. For this dinner, it was baby corn and onion, but you can also use carrot, pumpkin, kumera, green beans or anything you like.
At this point, I added the noodles and the sauces.
I use hokkein noodles more than anything else, as they are hubby’s favourite. Sometimes I skip them all together and serve the stir fry with rice, or I use flat rice noodles.
Like most of my cooking, I tend to just add ingredients until I am happy with the taste, and rarely do the same thing twice. This time I used approximately equal parts sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce and about a 2 teaspoons of fish sauce. I sometimes use oyster sauce, sesame oil, lemon, lime, or even a bottled Thai curry paste if a have some sitting open in the fridge.
Right at the very end, I added the soft vegies, like snow peas and capsicum.
I adjusted the flavours until I was happy, turned off the heat, added a few cashews for crunch (and for healthy fat) and sprinkled on some chopped coriander.