Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wok-less Stir Fry

I love stir fry.  It's an easy way to use tough meats, it's quick and it's pretty healthy.  What I don't love about stir fry is the wok.  I simply don't have the space to store the awkwardly shaped pan.  My solution is to use a 12" stainless skillet.  I have one of these in my kitchen already and I think it does the job just fine.
This recipe calls for wasabi paste and Gochujang; two ingredients you may not be very familiar with.  Wasabi is a Japanese horseradish and it is spicy.  The amount called for sounds like a lot, but it isn't very spicy at all.  If you're uncomfortable with it you can leave it out, halve the amount or even just sub in a 1/2 tsp of chili flakes.  Gochujang is a Korean chili paste.  I use Annie Chuns brand and I find it isn't spicy at all.  It does give a great depth of flavor.

1/3 c. soy sauce
1 TBSP wasabi paste
1/2 TBSP gochujang
2 cloves minced or grated garlic
1 TSP sesame oil

1 lb flank or skirt steak sliced thin
1 12 oz pack of fresh 'stir fry' veggies (usually has snow peas, cabbage, sprouts and broccoli)
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 portabello mushroom, sliced thin
4 green onions, sliced thin

4 servings of cooked rice or softened rice noodles** (I used rice noodles here)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a measuring cup or jar with a lid.  Mix well.  Combine half the marinade and the meat in a large zip top bag.  Make sure the marinade is well distributed.  Store the meat and remaining marinade in the fridge 6-12 hours.
When you're ready to cook remove the marinade and steak from the fridge.  Pour a few TBSP of the marinade over the mushrooms.  Set aside.
Fill the 12" skillet half way with water and bring it to a boil.  Separate the broccoli from the other veggies.  When the water is at a boil throw in your broccoli and carrots.  Cook 2 minutes.  Drain the veggies and return the pan to the stove over high heat. 
Add 1 TBSP canola or vegetable oil to the pan and add all the veggies except the green onions (including blanched carrots and broccoli and marinated mushrooms).  Add in the remaining marinade and cook 2-4 minutes--until the veggies are tender and the mushrooms have browned.  Keep the food moving in the pan to keep it from burning.  You want a nice high heat.
Remove the veggies to a bowl. 
Add another TBSP of oil to the pan and add the meat--cook this 2-3 minutes, just until done.  It's already dead, you don't need to kill it again.  Remove the meat to the veggie bowl.
If you're using rice noodles put your rice noodles and few dashes of soy sauce or water into the hot pan and toss until you've picked up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Plate up the noodles and top with the stir fry and green onions.

** Follow the package instructions on softening the rice noodles.  Most of the time I put my noodles in a casserole dish and cover with boiling water.  They take about 15 minutes to soften.  They may have a little bite to them after this time, that's why I add them into my hot pan with a little liquid.

This seems like a lot of steps, but it goes very quickly (10-15 minutes) and only takes one pot.  I hope this encourages you to try a stir fry and enjoy it!

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