Are you someone who follows a recipe all the time when cooking? I was thinking about that today, and realized most of my life I just cooked. I didn’t need a recipe. I was taught by my parents and I learned to make the meals that they made. The only time I used a recipe was when I was baking. Have times changed? Do people not know anymore how to just cook off the tops of their heads? I am just wondering.
I am lucky that I grew up in a home where both my parents cooked meals everyday. We did not go out very often, and we never ordered in ever, I don’t think that was a thing back then. We made meals with what we had on hand. We new what spices to use, what ingredients to buy, and the steps to take. When I grew up there was no internet. So unless you had a cook book to teach you how to make all your meals, you had to figure it out on your own, or ask a family member or friend for instructions.
Perhaps now a days, people do not have the time to teach their children to cook. Perhaps, families eat out most evenings and children do not have the opportunity to see their parents cooking. Perhaps these behaviours are imparing peoples cookings skills so that they are not learning what ingredients go together to make a delicious meal.
Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to share a meal with you that I have never had a recipe for. I have never even thought about googling how to make a stir fry. Perhaps people do, and there could be lots of recipes out there to choose from, but that is not how I make this meal.
I make a stir fry depending on what I have in the fridge; do I have plenty of fresh vegetables? then yes! Or perhaps I might decide while at the store that I want to make a stir fry, so I will buy some fresh vegetables. Just off the top of my head, here are some vegetables you can put in a stir fry:
- bean sprouts
- snap peas
- brussel sprouts
You can have as few of these items or as many of them as you wish. Make a new stir fry every time just by changing the vegetables up.
Directions to make your own Stir Fry
To start, wash, seed or peel your choice of vegetables. Then slice, dice, cube or cut in any shape you want.
Once your vegetables are prepared, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil (depending on how many vegetables you are cooking) in a wok, or deep frying pan.
Use a proper oil that works well for heating, I usually use grape seed oil. Throw your veggies in and cook on medium heat making sure to stir frequently.
Note: if you cook on high heat, you may burn your vegetables, or ruin your pan.
Next, I usually add some sort of spice to the vegetables, again it’s whatever I have on hand or feel like at the time, and spice liberally if you choose to do so.
After about 10-15 mins, I usually add some sort liquid to the pan. This can be juice if you wish ( like 1/2 cup of apple, orange, pineapple juice), or stock of some sort (vegetable, chicken or beef). Additionally you can add other flavours to the mix like honey or soy sauce. Try any thing you think might work. Just trying something new and experimenting with the taste is the fun part of cooking for me.
Continue stir frying vegetable for another 10 -15 minutes until vegetables are cooked al dente. Cooking the vegetables too long will make them soft and mushy.
That’s it, Stir fry done. Serve as is, or serve over rice or pasta. If you want some protein, add cooked chicken, beef or shrimp. There are endless possibilities.
How do you make a stir fry? Do you use a recipe? What are your favourite ingredients?