Everyday Vegetable Stir-Fry – The Woks of Life

Oleh : ArahQQ

Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to make this everyday vegetable stir-fry. It’s a great way to use up bits of vegetables you don’t know what to do with, and to get a big dose of colorful veggies into your diet! 

We call this an “everyday”stir-fry, because it’s such a flexible recipe, you could eat it every day, and still have variety.

We’re using mushrooms, carrots, celery, asparagus, and peppers in this version, but you could also use broccoli (even the stems!), cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, snap peas, and/or snow peas! 

While you can also add Chinese ingredients (such as lotus root, wood ears, celtuce, etc.), you don’t need any specialty Chinese vegetables for this recipe. You can whip it up with veggies you can find at any grocery store. 

Note: This recipe was originally published in June 2013 (it was the second recipe we ever posted!). We have since re-tested, rephotographed, and updated the recipe with metric measurements, nutrition information, new photos, and more! Don’t worry, though. If you’d like the original version of the recipe, you can still find it at the bottom of the post.

Why You Need This Vegetable Stir-fry

This everyday vegetable stir-fry was one of the very first recipes we posted on the blog way back in 2013, and for good reason. 

This stir-fry has shown up on our dinner table in some form or another for decades. Why?

Because all too often, when we’ve got lingering veggie scraps in the fridge at the end of the week—bits and pieces we haven’t used—we pull out this recipe and use whatever we have on hand to make an easy side dish.

vegetables from fridge
Here’s what I used to put together this recipe: a lone long-hot green pepper without purpose, a few slightly slimy baby bella mushrooms getting past their prime, a pretty decent-looking red bell pepper, a carrot, a few spears of asparagus we had left from another recipe, and some Chinese celery that was getting a bit old and yellow. While you may think that as food bloggers, everything in our fridge is always beautiful and fresh, that is definitely not the case! We need clever solutions to use up old vegetables as much as the next home cook.

I’m sure you’ve also been in the same situation. What to do with a final handful of mushrooms that might turn fuzzy if they don’t get used in the next few days. Or that half of a bell-pepper you have left over from another recipe. Or perhaps those limp stalks of celery languishing in the crisper drawer? 

This recipe is your answer! 

Mixed vegetables prepared for stir-fry on plate
Those vegetables clean up pretty good, though, after slicing!

The Ultimate Flexible DISH

While I’ve written the recipe with 6 specific veggies, you can substitute whatever you have on hand as long as they’re not super tender leafy things like baby spinach, which might be a bit too delicate for a stir-fry like this. 

I call for 6 cups of veggies total. As long as you have 6 cups, you can use whatever you like. You don’t even need 6 different vegetables—you could use just 3 or 4 if that’s what you have. 

The key is making sure that all your veggies are sliced thinly (for quick cooking), and that all of the veggies are sliced into roughly the same size and shape, so they cook in about the same amount of time. 

Chinese style stir-fried mixed vegetables

This consideration is one of our key tips for stir-fries in general. (Check out my mom’s article: How to Make Stir-fry the Right Way for more tips.)

Recipe Tips

Here are some other specific tips to think about:

  • If using mushrooms, it’s a good idea to give them a little bit longer to cook, so they don’t turn out rubbery. This is why I cook the mushrooms for a bit before adding the other vegetables. 
  • If using broccoli or cauliflower, it’s a good idea to separate them into smaller florets, or even to slice them, so they cook at a similar rate as a thin slice of carrot. You can also blanch them beforehand if you want larger florets, but cutting them into smaller pieces is the simpler way.
  • It’s also a good idea to slice vegetables on a diagonal, particularly fibrous ones like asparagus and celery. Not only is it prettier, it also results in a more tender texture. Check out my Chicken and Asparagus Stir-fry recipe for an explanation!

Ok, without further ado, on to the recipe:

Vegetable STir-fry Recipe Instructions

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water (or chicken stock), Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper. 

sauce mixture, ginger and garlic for vegetable stir-fry

In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and ginger.

ginger in wok

Cook until the ginger is lightly browned at the edges, and then add the mushrooms. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. 

ginger and mushrooms in wok

Add the carrot, celery, asparagus, bell pepper, and long hot pepper.

Stir-frying mixed vegetables in a wok

Stir-fry for 1 minute, and then add the garlic and the seasoning mixture you prepared earlier. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute, until the vegetables are tender. 

adding garlic and seasoning to mixed vegetable stir-fry

Combine the cornstarch and water into a slurry, and pour into the simmering sauce. Stir-fry until the vegetables are coated in sauce, with just a small amount of standing liquid.

Stir-frying mixed vegetables

Serve. 

Everyday mixed vegetable stir-fry
Vegetable Stir-fry

Here’s the printable recipe:

Everyday Chinese Vegetable Stir-Fry

Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to make this everyday vegetable stir-fry. It’s a great way to use up bits of vegetables you don’t know what to do with, and to get a big dose of colorful veggies into your diet!

Vegetable Stir-fry

serves: 4

Instructions

  • In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water (or chicken stock), Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper.

  • In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and ginger. Cook until the ginger is lightly browned at the edges, and then add the mushrooms. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.

  • Add the carrot, celery, asparagus, bell pepper, and long hot pepper. Stir-fry for 1 minute, and then add the garlic and the seasoning mixture you prepared earlier. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute, until the vegetables are tender.

  • Combine the cornstarch and water into a slurry, and pour into the simmering sauce. Stir-fry until the vegetables are coated in sauce, with just a small amount of standing liquid. Serve.

nutrition facts

Calories: 137kcal (7%) Carbohydrates: 15g (5%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 8g (12%) Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 1g Sodium: 472mg (20%) Potassium: 411mg (12%) Fiber: 5g (20%) Sugar: 7g (8%) Vitamin A: 6879IU (138%) Vitamin C: 61mg (74%) Calcium: 38mg (4%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

Old version of the recipe

  • 2 stalks celery (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups snow peas (trimmed)
  • 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms (thinly sliced)
  • 1 long hot red pepper (if you prefer a milder flavor, use ½ of a red bell pepper)
  • 1 long hot green pepper (or ½ of a green bell pepper)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon spicy bean sauce (doubanjiang)
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt

Heat oil in your wok using medium-high heat. Add garlic, both hot peppers and hot bean paste, and cook for about a minute. Stir constantly to prevent burning.

Turn the heat up to high and add the rest of your vegetables. Stir.

Add shaoxing wine, white pepper, sesame oil, and salt. Keep stirring over high heat for 2 to 3 more minutes. Plate and serve hot.

Everyday Chinese Vegetable Stir-Fry, by thewoksoflife.com



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