Economical Stir Fry Cooking
By Nikki Willhite
Stir Fry is a very versatile and easy dish to make, as long as
you follow a few rules.
The first one is to use a high quality oil to cook the vegetables. Most people
use olive or sesame seed oil. It is expensive, but you do not need to use much.
Olive oil is used because it does not break down when heated to high
The second rule it to cut your vegetables into fairly even sizes. This will help
them cook evenly. The vegetables that take the longest to cook are added first.
Those that take less time are added at the end. Nothing is cooked very long, as
stir fry is meant to be crisp.
You have a host of options for meat and vegetables. It doesn't matter, as long
as you like it. For me, the hardest part has always been finding or making a
good sauce to make it taste good.
We had a lot of feedback from the article on Stir Fry that was run in The
Pennypincher regarding how to make a good Stir Fry Sauce. There are 4 flavoring
agents you can pick up from the specialty section of your grocery store that
will make your sauce taste great. Most of them are quite strong, and should be
used in small amounts. They are:
1. Chinese Five
2. Oyster Flavored Sauce
3. Hoisin Sauce
4. Roasted Sesame Oil
Other ingredients to add to your sauce are Soy Sauce, Ginger, Bouillion, honey,
tomatoes or ketchup, salt, peppper, and cornstarch to thicken the broth.
For the noodles, you can use hard, crunch ones from a can, or you can use the
softer noodles. These are found in the specialty/Chinese food section of your
grocery store. You must soak these noodles for at least a half hour before
using. They become soft, and you just add them to the stir fry at the very end.
You can also improvise by using Top Ramen. Just cook the noodles the recommended
3 minutes and drain. You can also use their spices. If you want a fast taste of
Chinese food, this works well. I know a lot of people object to the salt/fat
content in Top Ramen, but this is not a health forum.
If you haven't tried stir fry before, give it a try. It is a great "catch all"
for leftovers, as well as an economical meal.