Sunday, March 20, 2005

Boring random stir-fry

Well, maybe it was boring, but it wasn't bad. I spent most of the day puttering around on various projects. I also planted spinach, scallions and Chinese (or leaf) celery. As a result, dinner was not going to be an important meal. I wanted something a little more involved than pouring some marinara on some noodles, but I didn't want a big production, either.

I started out with some "wok oil," which is oil that has been infused with onion, garlic, ginger and cilantro (House of Tsang brand). I was too lazy to chop up the seasonings tonight. The wok oil has impressed me as too harshly garlicky in the past, but it didn't bother me tonight. I stir-fried some water chestnuts and boiled bean sprouts for two and a half minutes, then added some cooked chukasoba noodles and cashews, then the sauce. The sauce proportions were two tablespoons shoyu, one tablespoon water, two tablespoons sake, a teaspoon of sesame oil and sugar to taste. I wanted a sweet stir-fry, so I added a lot of sugar. I cooked it until it seemed heated through, then sat down for dinner.

The sauce ended up being pretty bland and undistinguished, just like the food's appearance (maybe I should've added some slivered carrots for color, or a green garnish of some sort). The veggies didn't have that ideal fresh crunch you want in a really good stir-fry. But I have to admit that I didn't care tonight. It was simple, it was undemanding, it was filling. It was exactly what I wanted out of dinner tonight. Sometimes wonderful culinary pyrotechnics are just so much overkill. Some other time I can take this basic plan and tinker with it. For tonight, it was just what the doctor ordered.


A Vagrant Appetite said...

I sometimes get disheartened by stir-frys not living up to expectations, but that usually happens to me when I have company. your blog still sounds delicious.

Winslow said...

Hi Vagrant Appetite,

I was just reading your blog yesterday! Thanks for stopping by. :)

I'm lucky in that I usually have to cook only for myself. I'm willing to cut the cook some slack, especially if it's a solid, filling (if unspectacular) meal.

Stir-fries shouldn't be disheartening, though. It should be a simple way of tossing together some protein, veggies and sauce so that they can be served over a starch like rice or noodles. Part of the reason I like stir-frying so much is that there's an abundance of possibilities within some simple guidelines. I have to admit that my first attempt at stir-frying reduced me to tears, but I persevered. It was worth it.