Stir Fry Adventures!
Remember a few weeks back when I told you that the Rev. has a SERIOUS addiction to Mongolian Stir fry at one of our local Chinese restaurants? Well, he issued me a challenge to try and replicate the same experience here at home.
In order to make sure that I followed through on that challenge, he bought me an elctric frying pan for Valentines Day. Now, before you begin bashing my husband for not getting me flowers or chocolates or romantic stuff, let me defend him. The Rev. married a very practical woman. I’m not that into flowers and I do the grocery shopping so I buy my own chocolate thankyouverymuch. I do, however, enjoy new gadgets for my kitchen. Cooking is a serious hobby for me, and the whole family benefits from it!
Now, my friend Gayle, who is the most Chinese white Canadian I know, told me that I could probably just use my cast iron skillet, and I think she is right. However, since I have an electric stove, my burners are not as even as I would like. I also think I’ll be able to make use of the electric skillet on other occasions as well. I can always use an extra cooking surface, especially at holiday times.
So, on Valentines Day I went about the prep work to host a family stir-fry night. I sliced a two pound sirloin tip roast very thinly. I defrosted a one pound bag of frozen cooked shrimp, I prepped a pound of fresh green beans (next time I will give them a quick blanching first as well), I thinly sliced 8 oz of mushrooms, and a whole onion. I sliced some celery and I opened two cans of bean sprouts (I would have preferred fresh, but that is not always possible here on the prairie).
Part of my challenge was to find just the right noodles. I love, love, love lo mein noodles when we go out to eat. I have never been able to find any that taste as good when made at home. This time I decided to taste test three types of noodles. I boiled a pound of spaghetti until it was VERY al dente, I boiled two packs of ramen noodles without the seasoning mix, and I opened a package of pre-cooked wheat lo mein noodles. You can see all three types in the photo.
Surprisingly, the regular spaghetti noodles were the best fit. The “actual” lo mein noodles stuck together and broke, the ramen noodles were OK, but did not have enough texture to them, but the spaghetti noodles blended in and absorbed the sauces perfectly.
I heated up the skillet to its highest setting and then set the family members to preparing their raw ingredients, everyone got a custom stir fry.
I also had several prepared sauces that I picked up at the grocery store, a garlic ginger stir fry sauce gave us the best results, but I also enjoyed the terriaki sauce.
I took the time to dump each person’s stir fry into the pan and then cooked it until the meat and vegetables were sufficiently cooked, adding some water as needed throughout the process. I ate last! As I was sitting down to eat, one of the older boys wanted seconds, so I let them stir fry their own food. They did great. Next time we have stir fry they will fry their own from the start!
This was A LOT of food for us. There were three adults and the six kids and there was enough food for me to add some rice a few days later and make a huge pan of fried rice.
This really is a perfect food for pickier eaters as they choose what goes into their dinner! You can also throw in all kinds of things that you have in the refridgerator!
Look at my little taste testers! They loved the stir fry and ate almost as much as their six year old brother. Aren’t those bibs the cutest? My cousin got them for the girls last year for valentines day. They wore them, but they were only a month old, so they never even got dirty! I had fun pulling them back out this year!
Chime In! What is your favorite restaurant meal to prepare at home? What is a favorite family meal for your picky eaters? You know I’d love to hear from you!