Basic Stir-frying Method (Vegetables)
Cooking times for vegetables vary depending on their density and the thickness of the pieces. Bean sprouts, capsicum, sugar snap and snow peas take very little time at all, while brussel sprouts and baby pink eyes take quite a long time (for stir-frying).
While it is preferable to keep the flavours of each vegetable separate by individually stir-frying each them, we do not always have the time to do so. One can stir-fry groups of vegetables together to save time. Think about strong tasting vegetables and do not cook them with more subtle flavoured vegetables as the latter will tend to take on the flavour of the stronger tasting ones. Add slower cooking vegetables to the pan first and gradually add the faster cooking ones.
Heat wok (or pan) until very hot. Add 1-3 tablespoons of cooking oil. If cooking bean sprouts or spinach, add a crushed clove of garlic and a couple of slices of fresh ginger to the oil and brown them to flavour the oil. Stir in vegetables (you may add a little salt if you wish) toss in wok (add a little sugar if vegetable is inclined to be bitter as are some Chinese vegetables) for 1-3 minutes. Quickly cooking vegetables such as bean sprouts, capsicum and peas are usually ready now.
For vegetables that need further cooking, add about ˝ cup of hot water to the pan with vegetables and cover pan with a loose fitting lid. When steam begins pouring out from under the lid then most vegetable apart from the really dense ones (e.g. pumpkin & potato) are cooked. If you are cooking very dense vegetables such as baby pinkeye’s may need to add more water so that they don’t boil dry and burn.
For something different, try baby pinkeye’s with steak and peas, or butternut pumpkin (cut in pieces and sliced 5mm thick) with steak (see basic stir frying method (meat) for steak).
These recipes come to you compliments of Wing & Co, your one stop Asian Food shop. www.wingandco.com.au