Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Icky Stir-Fry

Following a rave-review recipe, it started as a really great idea: sliced chicken, assorted bell pepper, onion and snow peas, a sauce of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a little orange juice all thickened lightly with some arrowroot powder. Okay, I also added some sriracha.

Idea: Good.

Execution: Not good.

I've never been much of a stir-fry-er. Everyone talks about making a quick stir-fry. People who can't cook make stir-frys. This was my first one.

Not sure there will be a second. Of if there is, I'll stick with a basic bulgogi sauce.

So what are your stir-fry secrets? Clearly I need some help in this area.


Michele said...

I watched a lot of Chinese cooking shows growing up in Hong Kong, and here is what I learned:

1. Very very hot pan. Look for waves in the oil.
2. Brown the meat first. (And it should be in very thin slices so it cooks quickly.) Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add vegetables according to how fast they cook. In this case I would have done onions first for two minutes, then added the peppers and waited two more minutes, then finally the sugar snap peas for one minute.
4. Return the meat to the pan, and then add the sauce. One final toss and then plate.

Dunno if you read Red Cook's blog (I link to him on my page), but he did a really good series of posts on stirfries. This is the first:

Amanda said...

Thank you, Michele. My pan was likely not hot enough, and the chicken was certainly not small enough.

Plus the sauce. The sauce was not good at all.

Excellent advice--I'm heading over to Red Cook's place...

carol said...

How did it taste?

(I'd just take my glasses off and eat it *S*)

Amanda said...

Oh, I have no problem eating ugly food, Carol--no, this tasted horrible. Horrible. Very, very bland, lacking the zesty punch I wished for.

Andy said...

My problems with stir fry is getting the right temperature in the pan. I terrified of creating billows of smoke (as I have done in the past), especially in my apartment, where setting off the smoke detector empties the building.

Amanda said...

Hmm--I know what you mean, Andy. I have been known to generate some serious smoke in my various homes, as well. The thought of a smoke detector evacuating the whole building is quite scary indeed!

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