For those nights when I have few vegetables in the refrigerator, and not a lot of time to cook something complicated, a stir-fry is usually the best thing to cook. I love how easy they are to throw together, and how something so incredibly simple can taste delicious and be good for you, too!
This recipe was bookmarked (okay, Post-It noted) in my awesome Cooking Light cookbook for over a year, and I just never got around to making it. I’m glad that I finally did, as we both really enjoyed it. The best part is that it was easy, and was ready very, very quickly – a must when you leave work late, leave the gym late, and get home late!
Szechuan Pork – adapted from Cooking Light
- 6 oz udon noodles, precooked (we use the ‘Ka-Me’ brand & found it at Meijer)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 lb pork, trimmed & cut into 2-inch strips (we used boneless pork chops)
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (can be omitted if needed)
- 4 green onions, sliced diagonally
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan & swirl to coat.
- Add pork and chili garlic sauce, followed by the ginger. Stir fry for two minutes, then add the bell pepper.
- After another 2 minutes, add the both, soy sauce, and peanut butter. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Stir in the onions. Add the udon noodles and toss well to combine.
- Serve nice and hot!
A quick stir-fry for a busy night!
I’d say that from start to finish, this dinner took 30 minutes, tops! It was quick, easy, and tasted absolutely fantastic. At first I was a tad skeptical about adding peanut butter – of all things?! – to this dish, but it really took it to the next level. Trust me – don’t leave it out if you can help it.
Mike & I recently discovered these precooked udon noodles at one of our grocery stores, and we can’t get enough of them in our stir-fry’s as of late. If you want, you can simply omit and serve with rice instead.
I love stir-fries for two reasons: 1) lots of veggies, and 2) lots of flavors. I can’t seem to successfully make a really AWESOME stir-fry unless I have a recipe to go with it. Throwing veggies in? Not a problem. The sauce? Well…still working on my own concoction.
When I saw this recipe in my Jan ’13 issue of Cooking Light, I was intrigued by the usage of lemongrass (which I have in my cupboard, dried) and green beans in the veggies list. I decided to make this for dinner one evening after work, and it was definitely a hit.
Lemongrass Chicken Stir-Fry – adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp chicken stock
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sambal oelek
- 2 tbsp canola oil (divided)
- 2 tsp dried lemongrass
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 8-oz green beans, trimmed
- 1 lb boneless&skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup unsalted cashews
- 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced (I had a whole cayenne pepper frozen in my freezer from summer, so I used that).
- Combine brown sugar, stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sambal oelek in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large work or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of the oil & swirl to coat the pan.
- Add lemongrass & garlic; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Turn heat up to high. Add bell pepper, shallots, & green beans to the pan & stir fry for two minutes. Remove all vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon & set aside in a bowl.
- Add remaining oil to pan & swirl to coat. Add chicken and cook until browned (2-3 minutes).
- Add cashews & chile & cook for about two minutes. Then, add the vegetables back in and the sauce mixture.
- Bring to a boil & cook until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately with rice or noodles.
Ready to eat!
When I was younger, I was not a huge fan of dark-meat chicken, especially chicken thighs. The more I cook, the more I have noticed that they have a very rich flavor and are especially great with Asian cuisine. I do my best to cut off as much fat as possible, but am definitely not as wary about using them as I used to be.
I served our stir-fry with some ready-to-serve udon noodles that I found at my grocery store. Since they were pre-cooked, I threw them into the wok when I added the vegetables back in. They were absolutely fantastic & I highly recommend you try them. I think I like them better than the dried rice noodles I normally buy.
The only thing I did not enjoy about this dish was – believe it or not – the green beans! I would have much rather preferred carrots or zucchini in the stir-fry. They tasted okay, but it just didn’t seem ‘right’ to have them in there. One part of this dish that I suggest you don’t leave out is the cashews – that is, of course, unless you or someone in your home has a nut allergy. They added a really good texture to the dish and I was surprised at how much I enjoy them. I am looking forward to making this dish in the summer, when more vegetables are in season. This stir-fry is definitely in my arsenal for dishes to repeat!
As far as the spiciness is concerned – I personally needed more punch. If you like, you can add more sambal oelek for some more heat. Or, of course, sriracha…
…speaking of which – have any of you out there tried those new Sriracha chips from Lays? 🙂 YUM!
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely a fan of firm tofu. It’s an easy, meat-free protein that doesn’t really have a taste; rather, it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. My absolute favorite way to eat tofu is in Asian stir-frys. The Thai restaurant a few blocks away makes a killer Pad Thai with tofu (I bet it’s really good with chicken or shrimp too, but i’m a creature of habit when it comes to ordering take-out).
I think the key to making really delicious tofu is crisping it up a bit before you add it to the rest of the dish that you’ll be serving it with. Caitlin at the Healthy Tipping Point has a great way to make crisped-up tofu…thus when I made this recipe, I found the steps to be very similar.
Crispy Honey-Soy Tofu – adapted from Living to Dine
- 2 tbsp oil (I used the coconut oil I received from a Foodie Penpal swap…it rocked)
- 1 pkg extra-firm tofu, pressed & cubed
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
For the Honey-Soy sauce:
- juice of one lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 inch fresh ginger, grated (you can also substitute with a pinch of ground ginger)
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1.5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- red pepper flakes (if you like)
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- Dredge the tofu cubes in cornstarch & shake off any excess.
- In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place the tofu into the hot oil, browning each side. Once all is nice and crispy, transfer the tofu to a paper towel & set aside.
- Lower the heat in the pan. Once the temperature has dropped a bit, add the sauce and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the tofu back in and toss to coat.
- Serve atop of rice with some veggies (I recommend sesame carrots or snow peas).
Crispy Honey-Soy Tofu with sesame carrots & brown rice.
To be honest, I was tempted to eat all of the tofu, carrots and rice that I had made for dinner. It was honestly that good. However, I needed to be a good wife and same some dinner for my husband 🙂
The flavor of the sauce that you coat the tofu with is amazing. The garlic, ginger & lime are a great combination with the soy, and the honey adds a really nice sweetness to it. As I said before, I browned the tofu in coconut oil – this added a bit more sweetness and depth to the meal and I was very impressed with how it turned out.
The carrots were made with sesame-chili oil, sesame seeds, and the Bangkok Blend seasoning from Penzey’s Spices. Great heat and great flavor. I didn’t even need to add sriracha to my dish – can you believe it?!
I feel as though this is the quintessential Asian stir fry flavor that I have been in search of for a very long time.
If you’re a tofu fan, I think you’ll really like this dish. If you’ve never tried tofu, trust me – try this dish! You won’t be disappointed.