We all have a few items in our kitchen that are as indispensable as the perfect, little black dress. For me, it's my wok. When I'm too tired to cook, it's there to help me get a delicious, nutritious meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. It also beats a lot of the mediocre Chinese takeout in my neighborhood. You can work with any vegetables and protein on hand, so a well stocked pantry makes "cooking on the fly", a term used in restaurant kitchens, a breeze.
Keeping a few staple ingredients on hand makes stir-fry a snap.
- Love your veggies. Any kind will work, including carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, and even asparagus. Add a variety to your weekly shopping list so you have them on hand.
- Get saucy. Buy the basics, like soy sauce, sesame oil and your favorite stir-fry sauce. Reading labels is important here. Many stir-fry sauces are filled with corn syrup, sodium and additives, so choose wisely.
- Use your noodle. While specialty noodles found in the Asian section of grocery stores are fun to use, regular spaghetti is an excellent stand-in. Make it in advance and let cool before using; I usually make extra on "spaghetti and marinara nights" and store it in the fridge plain so it's stir-fry ready.
Tune in next time for tips on what to do once you've got all your ingredients, including the secret to the best stir-fry tofu!