Let’s clear something up before we start. I stir fry a lot. I know, I started this blog to help me keep out of my food rut, but there’s just something about a stir fry. In fact, there’s a lot about a stir fry. They’re quick, easy, light, healthy, packed with freshness and flavour and so so versatile. Provided you like a couple if types of vegetable, know how to cook a variety of meats/fish/tofu (I suppose, but why would you?!) you could probably whip up a different stir fry every day and still enjoy it. In fact, one of my colleagues eats chicken stir fry every night, though that’s a very different situation and the sauce comes out of a sachet.
There’s not a huge amount wrong with that either, I suppose. I used to be a huge fan of the stir fry sauce sachet (and in fact still have a few lounging about in my cupboard – should probably check the use by) but they are packed with all sorts of E numbers and preservatives, not to mention calories, and really there’s nothing in them that’s terribly good for you. So once you’ve mastered frying up some chicken and vegetables and boiling up (or microwaving, I suppose; those microwave rice sachets are pretty good, albeit terrible value for money) some rice or noodles (preferably without cutting or burning yourself), you should definitely try to make your own sauce. Though to call it a sauce is actually a bit grand. As long as you can cook meat to the point that it’s safe to eat but still juicy, you don’t really need a sauce, you just need flavour. A sort of hot dressing, if you will. Trust me, it will taste so much fresher and more vibrant than a sachet. Plus it means that nice you have the ingredients in the house, you can throw something like this together whenever you need it for a quick home-cooked meal without necessarily having to shop.
You will need:
1/2 red pepper
1 medium carrot
A few florets of broccoli
1 piece pork tenderloin (about 1/3 of a fillet)
1 clove garlic
1 3cm piece ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
Dash groundnut oil
1. Slice the onion, and pepper, peel and chop the carrot into small pieces. Chop the broccoli into little tiny trees, bearing in mind that the only cooking they’ll get is in the wok i.e. with no water.
3. Thinly slice the pork, add to the marinade and set-aside to flavour and tenderise.
4. Hear the oil in a wok and chuck in the onions and carrots. Allow them to start to cook down a little then add in the broccoli and peppers. Turn the heat down to medium. If you’re having noodles, get those ready to go on. Boil them for a few minutes in salted water, as per the packaging; I used soba noodles here.
6. Set a medium frying pan on at a very high heat and add a dash of groundnut oil. Once the pan is screaming hot (but please don’t test this with your fingers) add in half of the pork. Sear on both sides, then remove and replace with the remaining pork slices.
This recipe can be repeated with chicken, turkey or beef, and is great with salmon if you bake it in the oven for 7 minutes instead of frying it.
If you’re having rice though, put that on while you’re chopping your veg, especially if it’s brown rice!