Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Show off your Asian side

Asian food perplexes me. With all the different oils, powders, sauces, and unique vegetables it can be a little intimidating especially if your a college student and not quite sure if you'll ever use sesame oil or chili paste again. Therefore I don't make too many Asian dishes even though their flavors are explosive with carefully balanced sweet and sour tastes. Not too mention their healthy aspect. But every once in a while I reach down and take a little bit of courage just to venture out into the unknown world and make.... stir fry. Okay yes, maybe a little lame compared to making Haam Daan Ja Yoke Beng (which translated means ground pork cake with salty egg and I probably wouldn't make it anyway) but hey I grew up in San Antonio, Tx with little to no Asian influences. And be impressed, I made up this dish on my own, no recipe. Risky? Perhaps. Could have been better? I think not! (Actually yeah, I'm just being defensive.)

I mean it was really good but anything can be worked on to make better so after thinking about it here's what I did with some revisions.

Fresh Veggie Stir Fry with Quinoa

2 cups Quinoa
4 cups water (or chicken broth)

3 broccoli heads
2 red bell pepper
1 bok choy

3 carrots
Oil (I used canola but don't be afraid to use sesame or peanut oil)
1-2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger root
3 gloves of garlic
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
Squeeze or two of honey

Cook quinoa like you would for rice. Take a sauce pan and put both the quinoa and water together, bring water to a boil, put a lid on and turn the heat down to low. Let simmer for approx. 20 minutes or until all water has evaporated.

Meanwhile chop broccoli, red pepper, and bok choy into bite size pieces. Peel and cut carrots into match like strips. Heat 1-2 Tbsp. of oil into wok or any skillet pan on high. Finely mince ginger root and garlic to your liking and adding to hot pan but be careful not to burn garlic, 1-2 minutes. Throw and take out vegetables in batches to cook evenly and fast. While veggies cook, mix red pepper flake, soy sauce, cornstarch, water, and honey together. Once all the vegetables are mostly cooked, throw them all together in the pan and pour sauce over. Let cook for another few minutes but once again don't over cook. They should be tender but still have their natural crunch. By this time quinoa should be cooked.

Plate by scooping quinoa into bowls and ladling hot ginger scented vegetables on top.

See that wasn't so bad. :) Oh and add chicken if you feel like it.

No comments: