Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thai (ish) Veggie Stir Fry

A nice picture of Thailand.

I made up this recipe for my wife.  She can't eat meat and wasn't in the mood for stir fry, but all we had in the fridge was stir fry-type veggies, so I decided to try something different.  I used this as a starting point, but heavily modified it from there.  It ranks 4/5 on the coveted Wilson Recipe Scale, losing one point only because it doesn't include chocolate, bacon, aged cheddar, or onion rings.

As-is, it is vegan and gluten-free (the latter being accidental).  It would be nice with the addition of some thin-sliced beef, shrimp, or chicken.  And like most recipes, it would be INCREDIBLE with bacon added:  just a slice, fried crisp, finely crumbled, and added to the sauce.

What you need
For the sauce:
*1/4c peanut butter, preferably a smooth, all-natural type
*2 T Hot water
*The juice and zest of 2 limes.  If you don't know (I didn't until today), zesting limes is really easy:  Just scrape them over a fine grater until the white rind starts to show.  You don't want the white stuff--it tastes awful--just the paper-thin layer of green on the outside.  You won't end up with much.  That's OK.  It's potent stuff.
*2 T soy sauce
*1 tsp tahini (sesame seeds or sesame oil will work fine, too)
*1 fresh hot pepper, finely chopped.  There is a lot of room for variation, here.  1/4 jalepeno, with the seeds removed, will barely register on the heat scale.  A thai pepper or a couple serranos, seeds intact, will give you a more authentic, fire-shooting-out-the-ears Thai experience.

For the veggies:
*a splash or two of the oil of your choice.  I used  a small gob of tahini.
*3 carrots, peeled and sliced
*1/2 medium onion, diced
*2 cloves garlic, chopped
*2 c broccoli florets
*1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
*2 c mushrooms, sliced

What to do
For the sauce:  Pretty simple.  Combine all ingredients.  Run through a food processor or, if you're old-school, stir the daylights out of it until it's reasonably smooth.  Set aside.

For the veggies:
In a large pan--or a wok if you're lucky enough to own one--warm up the oil over medium-low heat.  Add the carrots and onions; stir-fry until the onions are starting to look translucent.  Add the garlic, broccoli, and pepper.  Keep a close eye on things from here on.  When the broccoli looks bright green and juicy, it's time to add the mushrooms.  Cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently.  Then add the sauce.  It will look all goopy and extremely unappetizing, but trust me.  Keep stirring until the sauce is spread over the veggies.

And that's it.  Serve over wild rice.  Greatness.

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