Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Hi all! :) Other than my very strong craving for yummy Asian recipes, I have also been wanting to somehow incorporate in-season or readily available vegetables in our meals lately. John and I have taken a liking to our local meat guy and have been eating lots of steaks and grilled burgers. I confess, I could live on porter house steaks alone. The steaks that we buy are so big, I usually forget about the veggie sides!!! So this week, I have been cutting down on the meat and focusing on the vegetables. The Asian cooking that I know involves a lot of it. Growing up, there was not a meal or a snack that didn't involve veggies. My Mom grew a vegetable garden, and we rarely had processed food in our pantry. Back then, I used to get so jealous every time I'd see my friends eat processed meat, or junk food for lunch while I ate stir-fried shrimp with rice or I'd come home to a vegetable and lentil soup for lunch. It used to infuriate me as a kid. lol My aunts, who, then took care of us while both our parents were at work had to literally force food down our throats. Boy, all three of us kids gave them a hard time.

Now that I am grown up, I am so thankful that my parents and everyone else that was involved in my childhood years for forcing us kids to eat vegetables... because we came to like them 10 or 12 years during the process and we realized that eating street food isn't really that cool after one of the kids we knew caught a bad case of the Hepatitis. Since then, we all decided to block all desire for street food or anything that is not made in our home.

I have nothing about Asian buffets because I love them all. It's cheap and the food is filling. And it is a quick way to give me my fix for fried and steamed rice when I need it fast. The only down side is, even the "stir-fried" stuff isn't really stir fried. Most, if not every single dish in the buffet is DEEP FRIED and has been dredged in flour, which doesn't make me happy at all. I am not a big fan of battered anything except if it's fried chicken. :)

So here's something really stir-fried. It's easy too. So if you're looking for something Asian, something quick, and something tasty, this is the recipe for you. :)

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Serves 4

1 cup uncooked regular long grain white rice (I used Jasmine Rice, love the flavor and the sweet smell)
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil (I used extra virgin olive oil because I had it in hand)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium yellow summer squash cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup fresh snap peas
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper
a handful of bean sprouts
1/2 cup stir-fry sauce
toasted sesame seeds

1. Cook rice in water.

2. Meanwhile, in a wok, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Cook chicken in oil 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from wok. Cover to keep warm.

I have an electric wok, so that's what I used. I like because i can set it at a certain temperature
and it goes up to desired temps when I start adding stuff into the pan.

3. In the same wok, heat remaining olive oil. Cook onion, squash, peas, bean sprouts, red bell pepper 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute.  Throw in chicken and stir-fry sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until thoroughly heated.

4. Remove from heat. Serve on top of rice or lo mein noodles. Or serve as is. Check out the photo below. :)

Happy Cooking!

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