Stir-fries drum up some very particular memories for me. They take me back to the the dining hall during college, ‘cause yes, I went to *that* school – the one with not only an on-campus sheep farm and CSA, but with electric woks in the cafeteria for a DIY stir fry bar. I abandoned stir-fries for a long long time, turned off by the “pacific” stir fry and broccoli-carrot combos that were available in those pre-chopped kits in the produce section, but then CSA happened and I am forever in need of something to help me with the bits that are left.
I’ve greatly improved my stir-fry techniques since my college days of sautéing everything together and dousing with soy sauce. I’ve learned about aromatics and oil, that some veggies cook more quickly than others, and that although it may feel less efficient, stir-frying elements separately and then combining them back together makes a huge difference.
Root Veggie Stir Fry
This unexpected earthy combo is a great way to use up your bits in the fall (and maybe even after your t-day feasts). The template doesn’t list quantities so you can play with the quantity of veggies to rice depending on taste or what you have on hand. I usually end up with a 1-1 ratio of chopped veggies to rice plus a handful or two of roughly chopped greens.
- Bok choi or other green
- Toasted sesame oil
- Leftover brown rice
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Mushroom soy sauce (optional)
- Broth (optional)
- Egg (optional)
- Chop up your carrots, turnips and mushrooms into similar size chunks. For your greens you can ribbon or chop roughly.
- Heat about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok (one big swirl around the pan) until nice and hot.
- Add ginger to oil and let cook until fragrant.
- Add turnips and carrots, cooking until turnips are starting to brown.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they start to soften.
- Add greens and cook until wilted.
- Salt your veggies lightly and give them one last good toss before transferring them out of the pan to a large plate.
- Add another swirl of oil to same pan and heat until sizzling.
- Add leftover rice. Stir and cook until rice is nice and coated with oil and warmed all the way through (can also crisp up your rice in the oil a bit).
- Now you can season to taste with a mix of soy sauce, rice vinegar, broth, and mushroom soy sauce. Don’t have all that on hand? Rice vinegar and soy sauce do just fine. How much you ask? I would start with a teaspoon of the rice vinegar, a teaspoon of mushroom soy sauce, and then alternate soy sauce and broth a tablespoon at a time until you are happy with the color and flavor. Just taste in between additions to get a handle on what you like more or less of.
- Make a well in the center of the rice. Crack an egg (or two) in. Scramble ‘til cooked through.
- Mix rice and eggs together.
- Add your veggies back in and toss.
Make sure to store the rest of that ginger in the freezer!