Friday, August 19, 2011

Spicy (or Not-so-spicy) Summer Stirfry a.k.a. You Should Make This Tonight!

I think we just ate my favorite stirfry yet, probably because it's a garden-harvest-vegetarian riff on Martha's beef bulgogi recipe from five years ago, and with the addition of sesame oil. (I'm sorry for the weird color cast; I took this picture at dusk because I was too busy eating beforehand.)

This is a sweet-spicy-sesame-y stirfry that smashing! So lame, I know. Sometimes I have alliteration spasms. It's a disorder. (ASD.)

Cook up some brown rice. During the forty minutes you wait for it to cook, gather

a few tablespoons olive oil
one onion, chopped
about 4 carrots, thinly julienned

1 small-medium zucchini, thinly julienned
1 small-medium yellow summer squash, thinly julienned*
about 5 cups sugar snap peas (the eat-the-pod-and-all kind), strings removed
2 tbsp. freshly minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
1 and 1/2 tbsp. finely chopped or grated ginger
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil (or more, if you like a really heavy sesame flavor)
6 tbsp. brown sugar (a bit more or less, to taste)

1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in a few tablespoons of cold water
ground cayenne or red pepper flakes or fresh hot peppers (ribbed, seeded, and chopped), to taste

In a few tablespoons of olive oil, saute the onions and carrots until the onion is translucent and carrots are nearly crisp-tender (if using fresh hot peppers, add then in, also). After mixing the soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves, add the next eight ingredients with 1/3- 1/2 cup water to the pan and cook over medium heat until vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture and cook until sauce thickens. Add cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste.

We loved this, especially the sweet crunch of the sugar snap peas.

*A mandoline slicer really does beat all. John picked mine up for ten bucks several years back, and I've been using it to slice and julienne like one obsessed, which is probably because I am obsessed. Mine looks similar to this, except that it didn't cost forty dollars. If you find one for a reasonable price, grab it! They are just about as handy as hands.

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