I think I officially have a love affair with stir-fried vegetables.
My husband was away for training last week, not to mention numerous Christmas parties, and I was left at home to prepare lunch (and some dinners) for one. Being the lazy ass that I am, I have planned on one of these options: a) go out, run errands and eat out; b) have food delivered; or c) go processed!
I ended up going with Option A on some days, and C on other days. Yay junk food!
But somehow my inner self got quite guilty about all the salt and preservatives, so on the third solo lunch day, I rummaged through the crisper and convinced myself to prepare–at the least–a vegetable side dish.
It reminded me how I’ve never really made stir fry vegetables, and the closest I have done in the past was beef and broccoli. Some five years ago.
So I went online and googled easy+stir-fry+recipe, and found some recipes to prepare the sauce beforehand, while others were just tossing stuff in the pan and drizzle this, drizzle that… I guess there’s no single way of making stir-fry nor its sauces so that made me decide…
I’m gonna just wing it!
In my head, it was just these basics:
- aromatics – ginger, garlic, onions
- vegetables, of course
- sauce – brown, a little salty, a bit sweet, not too overpowering
- hot pan, no mediocre sizzling (I don’t have a wok)
I had a bottle of unused Chinese cooking wine, and I think I may have watched some wok-cooking chefs in the past add this liquid around in a really hot wok, and it evaporates in a few seconds. Okay, that sounds legit stir-frying to me!
And because stir-fry sauces almost always are brown, a bit sweet, and a bit salty, I thought, why go through all the fuss of mixing stuff when I can basically just use oyster sauce…and maybe sugar? I ended up not using sugar though.
Alright, too much talk, here’s my super simple stir-fry recipe! Note that this is very new, and I have done this only twice.
Easy Stir-fry Vegetables
Super easy, fast, and with very few ingredients, this is now my go-to recipe for a vegetable dish. Serve alongside some grilled mains, or add chicken or beef for protein.
See more notes after the recipe.
- 2-3 cups of vegetables of your choice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- 1 Tbsp chinese cooking wine
- 1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp spring onions, optional
- Cut vegetables into bitesized pieces. Segregate depending on density of the vegetable. The denser the vegetable, the longer cooking time it requires. If you know it, cut vegetables to a size enough to cook (but still crunchy and not limp) in less than a minute.
- Heat pan or wok in medium-high heat, add cooking oil. When hot, sauté onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant, and onions are limp and translucent. Season with a pinch of pepper.
- Start adding vegetables and tossing them around the pan to cook. Denser vegetables first, give it about 15-30 seconds, followed by the next batch of vegetables.
- When you put the last batch of vegetables, add cooking wine, let sizzle for a few seconds. Then add sesame oil, toss to coat, and then add oyster sauce.
- Toss until well mixed. If you think you will overcook your vegetables, remove pan from fire while you finish tossing. Residual heat from the vegetables and the pan will still cook your veggies.
- Garnish with spring onions (and serve over a cup of hot rice.)
The first time I made this recipe, I had some red bell peppers so I tossed them in with the aromatics, too! I had snap peas, broccoli, and carrots.
I like my veggies crunchy so the carrots went in first, swirled it around for about 15 seconds before I added snap peas and broccoli. I didn’t wait after the broccoli went in, and proceeded to ‘sauce’ it. It probably took only a minute or so to toss them until well coated.
I am also always amazed by ginger, so I usually add a thumb of ginger regardless of how little is needed! For the first batch, I made enough for two servings, so I stored half in the fridge. The following day, the ginger was much more prominent and took me to ginger heaven!
For my second attempt in testing the proportions, I had leftover button mushrooms from attempting pizza, so I added those too, right after the aromatics.
I love how the veggies become so much more vibrant as soon as they touch the heat, with just enough cooking time before they look miserably overcooked.
Last note: If you do not plan to eat this with rice, do lessen the oyster sauce and sesame oil as it may be too oily to be eaten on its own.
If you make this recipe, I’d be thrilled to know what you think! Or pin this recipe for later reference.