Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Stir-fry

When it is hot outside (and hot inside when your ac decides to stop working!), you don't want to spend time over a hot appliance. Salads are often the wisest choice, but sometimes you just want something a little warmer than that. Stir-fries are an easy choice, as they cook up fast.

Summer Stir-fry

Olive oil
One bunch of fresh aspargus, tough parts removed and composted, tender ends snapped into smaller pieces
One onion, sliced
One package sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 t. Italian seasoning
One tomato, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

In the olive oil, saute the asparagus, onion, mushrooms and garlic until veggies are heated through and take on that bright look sauteed vegetables do. Add the seasonings and tomato. Stir-fry until vegetables are heated and cooked through.

Serve over some rice and a nice drizzle of Braggs Aminos. Enjoy!

The term stir-fry was introduced into the English language by Buwei Yang Chao, in her book How to Cook and Eat Chinese,  to describe the technique of cooking in a wok. Stir-frying is similar to sauteing, in that it is a method of quick cooking food in a hot pan with a small amount of fat for a relatively short period of time. The goal being to brown the food while preserving the color, texture and flavor of the individual ingredients.

I don't currently have a wok, but if I did I would get one made of mild steel. It is preferred for its heat transfer properties; thin stamped stainless steel or aluminum just don't hold enough heat, and cast aluminum takes to long to heat upand cool down. I would avoid anything teflon coated. A properly conditioned iron wok is at least as non-stick as any teflon coating ever made.

A new wok must be seasoned before use. Scrub it well with soap and water to remove any coating applied to protect it during shipping, rinse well, and dry. Place the wok over low heat, wipe lightly with vegetable oil and let stand on the heat for 10 minutes. Cool and wipe with paper towels to remove the dark film. Repeat the oiling, heating, cooling and wiping procedure until the paper towels come away clean. Once a wok has been seasoned, it should be cleaned with plain water only using a wok brush, never with soap or abrasive cleaners, then dried and oiled before storing. If the metal ever rusts, clean with steel wool or fine sand paper and re-season.

If you like to cook Asian dishes, a wok will become indispensable.

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