Sunday, September 7, 2008

Eat Your Vegetables

Parents, trying to get your kids to eat their greens? Failing? Then, try my new, improved, tested-on-my-girlfriend method that is guaranteed to make them eat vegetables like no tomorrow!*

Well, while I do not enjoy the sales pitch, that is pretty much what this is, a tasty way to get picky people to eat their vegetables. Picked this inspiration up from girlfriend's dad, who picked it up from Joyce Chen. Quick tangent- I need to come up with a name for the gf on this instead of using her name all the time and skewing her Google results away from her scientific awesomeness. Give me a few posts.

Back to the subject at hand. Stir frying vegetables is simple, quick, and mostly healthy. I say this because you do have to add a little bit of oil to the pan to start the process, but this is no worse than most of you who add butter to your steamed veggies. Now, what makes this method that much more awesome? Two things, crispness and the sauce. The veggies are cooked with a small (read: SMALL) amount of water after being toasted slightly, which lets them retain their crispness and not become soggy. The sauce is just good, especially if you are using good soy sauce.

There are very few tricks to this recipe. Do it in a wok if possible (better heat dispersion which leads to more even cooking), and if the sauce is a bit thick for you, add just a bit more water to the pan. One safety note is to make sure to dry your vegetables before you add them to the wok. Adding veggies that are full of water to hot oil can lead to splattering like you would not believe (or would like to clean up). In terms of vegetables, broccoli is my favorite for this, but green beans, snap peas, and asparagus work great, among others. Make florets from the broccoli and peel the stems, use green beans and snap peas as is, and cut the asparagus down to smaller pieces (but don't peel unless you like mushy asparagus or they are super woody).

1 pound vegetables
2 T peanut oil
1 T soy sauce
1 ½ T dry sherry
3 T water
1 t sugar
1 t salt
1 t Cornstarch dissolved in 2 T water

In a wok, heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Add vegetables in one batch and cook for about 2 minutes, tossing often. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sugar, salt, sherry, and water. Add directly to the vegetables, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are bright in color and just starting to soften. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until the sauce thickens. Thin with more water if desired.

* Not guaranteed, but it's worth a shot.


Andrew September 8, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

I usually fry some garlic in the oil till golden brown and delicious first and maybe some crushed red pepper.

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