Thursday, September 22, 2005

Funky Mandarin Stir-Fry

From my fridge/pantry to the table in less than an hour…

I’ve done enough stir fry over the past couple of years to be comfortable making up my own variations on the theme. For those of you that haven’t tried it, stir fry is basically a bunch of stuff tossed in a medium hot skillet (or wok) and cooked until it is as done as you like, then seasoned with Soy sauce and thickened with a mixture of water and corn starch.

It’s just that easy, and it’s hard to come up with something that doesn’t taste edible as long as you keep your old dirty sneakers and your pets out of the mixture.

Tonight I did a little fridge and pantry shopping and I tossed everything that looked like it would be good in a stir fry out on the counter.

When I was done with my "in house" shopping trip, here is what I had to work with:

½ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp soy sauce

¼ head of green cabbage, shredded
½ yellow bell pepper, julienned
½ red bell pepper, Julianned
1 medium carrot, Julianned
1” piece of fresh ginger, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, diced fine
(1) 11 oz can mandarin orange segments
1/2 can bamboo shoots
(1) 14 oz can baby corn, drained and cut in half
2/3 cup frozen English peas (or snow peas or whatever you got)

2 tbsp peanut oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
¼ orange juice
A couple of dashes of red pepper (to YOUR taste—be careful)

¼ cup warm water
1 tbsp corn starch

1-1/2 cup white rice, cooked

First cut up your chicken into one or two bite pieces, place the pieces in a zip lock baggie, and add a couple tablespoons worth of soy sauce. Work everything around with your hands and let the chicken marinade in the baggie for a half hour or so.

While your chicken is marinating, dice up your veggies and heat up your skillet a little.

You can also put your rice on to cook when you start cooking your chicken. Don’t forget your rice like I always try to do.

Now pour the peanut oil in the skillet, let it heat up good, and stir fry the chicken until it is done medium well. Add the diced garlic when the chicken is half done. Don’t burn your garlic unless you want "truely funky stir fry."

Turn down the heat slightly and reserve the chicken on the side while you stir fry your veggies.

Toss in the cabbage and pour in the orange juice and a table spoon of Soy sauce. Stir the cabbage as it sizzles away. After a couple of minutes, add your bell peppers, peas, and carrots. Keep stirring. Now add the fish sauce and the toasted sesame sauce, along with the baby corn and the bamboo shoots.

Keep stirring for a few more minutes. Check your rice and open your can of mandarin orange segments. Keep stirring—why do you think that they call it stir fry anyway?

Now add your chicken back into the mixture, along with the mandarin orange segments, and stir everything together good. Take a taste of the veggies to check your seasoning.

Does it need anything? Well add it then, it’s your dinner.

Stir up the corn starch with the warm water real good, then pour half into the mixture and stir it up. Now add the rest of the water/corn starch mixture and let everything simmer as it thickens up.

Place a couple of big bowls on chargers, spoon in half your rice into each bowl, top the rice with your stir fry mixture, grab yourself a fork or better yet, some chop sticks, and EAT.

Enjoy Y’all,

The Redneck Gourmet

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