In my family, dinner was rarely a surprise when we came to the table each night. We could make a pretty good guess when we opened the refrigerator to get our breakfast in the morning. My mom was meticulous about prepping (and marinating) her food ahead of time, and there were often several bowls and containers of pre-chopped meat and vegetables waiting to be thrown into her wok when we tumbled through the door at the end of the day.
I would love to say I'm just as organized as she was, but most of my dinner prep happens as I'm cooking. I will give my self a big ol' pat on the back though, because by the time I roll out of bed I know what we're having for dinner five out of seven nights a week—a necessity with four busy kids and a frightening weekly grocery bill.
My 10 minute stir-fry is in the weekly rotation for a couple of reasons: we are aiming for a 60 to 40 vegetarian/pescetarian to meat diet right now, and there are nights we need a meal that can be put together in a hurry.
I start with the veggie crispers in the refrigerator—which I basically empty into my wok—and I serve the stir-fry with either seafood or tofu on noodles or rice, depending on what I have available or whichever the kids request.
IN MY PANTRY/REFRIGERATOR:
- a wide variety of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, peppers, cabbage, frozen peas)
- canned miniature corn for added texture (water chestnuts are great, too)
- pasta noodles (stir fry works best on spaghetti-style noodles)
- long-grain rice
- extra firm tofu
- frozen/fresh shimp
- minced garlic
- vegetable broth
- oyster sauce
- soy or tamari sauce
- boil water for noodles or rice and prepare accordingly
- chop whatever veggies you plan to use into bite-sized pieces
- chop extra firm tofu into bite-sized pieces or thaw frozen shrimp under cold water and drain
- prepare broth
- 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1-2 tbsps of oyster sauce
- 1-2 tsps of soy or tamari sauce
IN THE WOK
- 1-2 tbsp of whatever cooking oil you prefer (we use grapeseed) into hot wok (medium high temp)
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- add raw vegetables and stir-fry continually for 5 minutes until tender
- add half of broth and let simmer for two minutes
- add cubed tofu or thawed shrimp and stir-fry until shrimp is pink or tofu is warmed (add both tofu and shrimp if you want an extra punch of protein)
- add remaining broth and let simmer on medium for two to three minutes.
ON THE PLATES
- distribute cooked rice or noodles onto plates
- pour stir-fry over top (my girls like broth, my son doesn't...so I used a slotted spoon)
- we also use fresh udon noodles (in the sushi section of most grocery stores) which can be added directly to the wok with the tofu or shrimp
I promise you'll have this down to 10 minutes before you know it. This dish also holds up well as leftovers for tomorrow's lunch boxes. You can heat and add to a thermos or send in a microwave-safe dish, if you're feeling lovey dovey towards your fellow in-house parent. Enjoy and feel free to post any questions.