(This post contains affiliate links) I know it sounds like a cliché, but when i got my very first wok, it really did change the way i cook. I won’t go so far as to say that i’m a pro, not by any means! But, i am proud to say that my family loves every one of my stir-fries. Tonight we’re having beef with mangetout and mushrooms with jasmine rice, so i thought i’d share with you a collection of my family’s favorites. All of these recipes are weeknight friendly, meaning prep and clean ups a breeze – just pull the kids in to help 😉 ! Enjoy!
1. Beef with mangetout and mushrooms with jasmine rice – one of my all time favorites! I just love me some crunchy greens!
What you need :
300 – 500 grams good quality beef steak, thinly sliced, and pounded out, then cut into strips.
Marinaded for at least an hour in a mixture of :
4 – 5 Tablespoons of soy sauce
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Knob of ginger about the size of your your thumb , peeled and sliced into thin strips
1/2 onion, sliced into strips
1 large green pepper, sliced into strips
6 – 8 large mushrooms, sliced
250 grams (about 2 handfuls) of mangetout or green beans
Finely diced spicy red peppers (optional)
2 Tablespoons grated ginger/ ginger paste
1 or 2 Tablespoons chili paste
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
To serve :
2 Cups Jasmine Rice
Prepare your meat by pounding it out and slicing it into strips that are manageable for everyone in your family. Mix together the marinade ingrediants and pour over the mmeat, then get your hands in there and mix it all up. It really does make a difference, because you know that each piece is going to be well coated and s going to have a chance to absorb all the flavors from the soy and the fish sauce. Now you can pop the whole lot into the fridge for an hour or two, and if you’re like me, you might want to just get all the pep work done. Chop up your onion and green pepper, slice those mushrooms and set those aside. Easy! The one thing that does require a little bit of work is the mangetout, or green beans, if your using those. I’d suggest blanching them (par-boiling) for maybe 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your personal preference. Remember, they’re not going to get much time to ‘cook’ in the wok later.
When you’re ready to get cooking, get your jasmine rice out. If you ask me, it HAS TO BE Jasmine rice. No discussion. There is a stickiness, and a ‘popcorniness’ (yes, google, i know that’s not a word… 🙂 ) about it that just works so well with stir-fry… once you try it, i promise, you won’t go back!
So, getting back to the rice… You have to rinse your rice a bit, throw it in a colander, open the tap and run run your fingers threw those beautiful grains for about 45 seconds – nothing complicated. 2 cups of rice, a LARGE pinch of salt (about double the amount of salt as you’d use in normal rice – i don’t know why, it just is…) and four cups of water. Bring it to the boil, turn it down and cook on low until the water is gone, about 15 minutes. Easy!
While you’re doing that, put your wok on the heat and add a little oil. I always use a mixture of sunflower and sesame when i’m making a stir-fry, but peanut oil is also a good option. Add in the ginger paste and chili if you’re using, and cook that down for a couple of minutes. Add in the onions and then the meat. Stir so that everything gets covered in the ginger sauce, then add in the veggies (including the spicy peppers if you’re using) and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Soy sauce just before serving.
Serve with Jasmine rice.
2. Stir Fry Sweet and Sour Pork
- 300g sliced pork
- 1 tablespoon egg white from 1 large egg, lightly beaten (see note above)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or sake
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 pound pork loin, sliced 1/8 inch thick
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola oil, or peanut oil
- 1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks plus 4 tablespoons canned pineapple juice
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 small white onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- In a small bowl, stir together egg white, cornstarch, rice wine, and salt until thoroughly mixed. Place sliced pork in a bowl pour cornstarch mixture on top, tossing to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Fill the wok with water and bring to a boil over high heat, then add oil.
- Add pork, stirring with chopsticks or a strainer to separate the pieces, and cook until pork is opaque and nearly cooked through, about 40 seconds.
- Drain wok into a colander and shake well to remove excess water. Wipe wok clean and dry thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, stir together pineapple juice, tomato paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch.
- Heat vegetable oil in wok over high heat until smoking.
- Add bell peppers and onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Add pork and continue to stir-fry until browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, push pork and vegetables up side of wok, then add sauce so that it pools in center.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring, then toss with the pork and vegetables until the sauce thickens and coats them well.
- Turn off the heat and toss in the pineapple chunks.
- Transfer to a platter immediately and serve with rice.
- Serve with jasmine rice instead of plain white rice for a different flavor.
3. Chinese Orange Chicken
Ooohhhh…. just look at that sticky, sesame goodness… serious yum!!
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- For the marinade
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- To make the marinade, whisk together chicken broth, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, Sriracha, ginger and white pepper in a large bowl.
- In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup of the marinade; marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally.
- Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
- Heat remaining marinade in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil and stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened about 1-2 minutes; keep warm.
- Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs, then dredge in remaining 1 cup cornstarch, pressing to coat.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan, then, working in batches, add chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
- Serve chicken immediately, tossed or drizzled with the marinade, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.
- Serve with fluffy jasmine rice
4. Stir Fried Shrimp with Egg and Chinese Chives
The secret to this recipe is soaking the shrimp in a baking-soda solution. It prevents them from becoming soft and mealy by altering their texture so that they are juicy, with a crunchy pop when you bite into them. Did you know that? I didn’t!
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, divided
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 ounces Chinese chives, cut into 1-inch lengths (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- In a medium bowl, cover shrimp with cold water and stir in baking soda.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Drain and rinse shrimp under cold running water then pat dry with paper towels.
- Transfer shrimp to small bowl and add 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the white pepper. Mix well.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 eggs with the milk, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until lightly smoking.
- Add shrimp and stir-fry for 1 minute then add the Chinese chives, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until chives begin to wilt and shrimp are just cooked, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the wok over high heat until lightly smoking.
- Add the eggs, lower the heat to medium, and cook without stirring until the bottom layer of egg has set, about 30 seconds.
- Using a spatula, scrape eggs from sides in towards middle of wok.
- Continue to cook, scraping eggs from sides in towards the middle, until some large fluffy curds have formed and eggs are about halfway cooked.
- Add shrimp and chives to eggs and gently stir until eggs are just slightly runny. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.
5. Stir Fry Lo Mien with Cabbage and Shitake
This vegetarian noodle stir fry is a great recipe to have in your arsenal, and, bonus!, it tastes great too!
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound fresh lo mein noodles
- 1/4 cup vegetable, canola, peanut oil, divided
- 4 cups shredded white cabbage
- 4 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces Chinese chives or scallions, cut into 2-inch segments
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
- Ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine /
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles, stirring gently with tongs or long chopsticks, until 'al dente' and separated. (about 1 minute)
- Drain and transfer to a large bowl then toss with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable (or chosen) oil and set aside.
- Heat another tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat until smoking.
- Add the cabbage and cook, stirring gently, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and return to the heat until smoking.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring , until lightly browned and tender-crisp. (about 2 minutes) Add the chives and stir gently until lightly wilted, about 1 minute.
- Transfer to the bowl with the cabbage.
- Wipe out the wok.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over high heat until smoking.
- Add the noodles and cook, tossing and stirring, until hot.
- Add the cabbage, mushrooms, chives, and minced garlic.
- Cook, tossing, until garlic it's fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add sesame oil, light and dark soy sauce, and wine.
- Cook, tossing and stirring, until the sauce coats the noodles.
- Season to taste with salt and white pepper and serve immediately.
If you don’t have a wok, or if you want to treat yourself to a new one, Amazon (affiliate link*) has a great selection. Go on, you deserve a treat!
If you’ve enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with your friends and family, and don’t forget to take a look at the rest of my weblog here (brightnbrainy.com). Thanks!
(*All that this means is that a small percentage of the sale comes to me, i ‘spose as Amazon’s way of saying ‘Thanks!’ for sending some business their way. I use those proceeds to help with the running of my household and with the upkeep of this site, so please, go wild 😉 . (Only joking! Brightnbrainy supports responsible spending.)