Recently in stir-fry Category

Spicy green bean lunch

ate.2011.07.23.l.jpgNormally I made spicy green beans as a side dish, perhaps with salmon. But especially during green bean season, I sometimes make an extra large serving as a healthy and tasty lunch.


Tofu, broccoli and scallion stir-fry

ate.2011.07.24.l.jpgThis dish is delicious, but I inexplicably go between bouts of having it a couple times a week, and then not having it for months at a time. Go figure.

I usually make this with half a cake of extra-firm tofu in the 14 oz. plastic tray with the plastic film lid. Of course this leaves half a package of tofu. It will keep for a week or two in a container if you change the water every few days. It can also be made from the tofu in the aseptic package, and then you can use the whole package.

Update 9/14/2012: I've switched to using 1/3 of a 14 oz. package of tofu because it seemed like a little too much to use half.

This dish works best in a non-stick sauté pan, or a very well seasoned pan, because the tofu is much better when it gets browned, but it also really will want to stick to your pan. Beware.

Cut 3-4 scallions into 1" pieces, keeping the white and green parts separate.

Cut a handful of broccoli into small bite-sized pieces.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat and add oil, such as canola or olive oil. Add the white part of the scallion and cook for a few minutes.

Add the tofu and cook until browned on one side, periodically moving the pieces so they don't stick to the pan. (See note below for my new preferred cooking method.)

Season with granulated garlic and freshly ground black pepper, then flip over each piece of tofu. Add the broccoli to the pan. Add more oil if necessary.

After several minutes, add the green parts of the scallions to the pan.

Season the second side of the tofu with granulated garlic and pepper.

When done, turn off the heat and add stir-fry sauce. I like Lee Kum Kee vegetarian stir-fry sauce, which I curiously use mostly on beef and pork dishes, but in this case, it's all vegetarian. It has a mushroom flavor. Also add a little soy sauce.

Serve with rice. I keep Japanese white sushi rice in my refrigerator. Plate one serving, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 0:40. 

Add the stir-fry and serve.

Here's what it looks like with 1/3 cake of tofu:

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Updated May 5, 2015: I've decided that it makes sense to use two pans for this dish. One regular pan for the stir-fry and one non-stick pan for the tofu. There are two problems with making it in one pan. It takes quite a while to cook the tofu, and it's hard to time it just right so the tofu and vegetables are done at the same time. With two pans, you can just turn off the heat on the tofu pan and let the vegetables catch up. Also, a dedicated non-stick tofu pan is much less likely to have the tofu stick to the pan. When the vegetables are done, just add the tofu to the vegetable pan and add the sauce.

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Turkey and cabbage stir-fry

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This is a tasty lunch stir-fry. 

Since I make 3.2 oz. packages of pre-cooked, cut, and frozen turkey this is quick and easy. It works equally well with roasted chicken, as well.

Defrost a 3.2 oz. package of frozen turkey or chicken in the microwave for 0:40 on high.

Slice green, savoy or Napa cabbage into very thin strips. Discard any tough ribs.

Mince a clove of fresh garlic. You could substitute granulated garlic.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add oil of your choice (canola, olive, whatever).

Cook the cabbage for a few minutes, longer for green cabbage and less for savoy or Napa.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute.

Add the turkey (or chicken) and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

If the rice is refrigerated, plate one serving of Japanese white sushi rice. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 0:40.

I add soy sauce when I eat it, but not when I cook it, because it will discolor the cabbage.



Beef (or pork) with bean sprouts and scallion stir-fry

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This is a quick and tasty lunch. The only problem is that I don't usually keep mung bean sprouts on hand because they spoil so quickly. I usually plan my weekly menu with this dish and pad Thai to use up a most if not all of a package within a few days.

Cut up 2 - 3 scallions in 1" pieces, keeping the white and green parts separate.

Cook a 3.2 oz. package of pre-cooked, frozen package of stir-fry beef in the microwave for 0:40. I make packages of stir-fry beef whenever I make and eye of round roast beef, so it's nice and lean and tender.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil. I usually use canola, but olive oil, peanut, whatever are fine.

Add the white parts of the scallion and cook for a few minutes.

This dish is also good with added broccoli, you could toss that in now if desired.

Add the beef, bean sprouts and the green parts of the scallions and cook for a few minutes.

Season with freshly ground pepper, granulated garlic and soy sauce.

If the rice is refrigerated, take one serving of Japanese white sushi rice from the refrigerator and plate it. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 0:40.

Add the stir-fry and serve.

This dish is also good with pork, prepared exactly the same way.

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Update December 1, 2015: It's also good with a little broccoli.

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Zucchini and bacon stir-fry

ate.2011.11.04.l.jpgThis is a very simple but tasty-stir-fry!

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.

Cut a small to medium zucchini into rounds, about 1/4" thick. If the zucchini is large, it may be easier to cut it in half lengthwise, then cut into half-rounds.

Add oil to the pan (canola, olive, peanut, whatever). Add the zucchini in one layer and cook until lightly browned on one side. Season with granulated garlic and freshly ground pepper then turn each round over to cook the other side.

Cut two slices of frozen pre-cooked bacon into 1/4" wide strips. Add to the pan.

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Season the second side the pepper and granulated garlic.

When done, turn off the heat, season with soy sauce.

I almost always have cooked Japanese white sushi rice in my refrigerator. Plate one serving, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 0:40. Add the stir-fry and serve.

A healthier version can be made using hana katsuo, Japanese dried bonito fish flakes, instead of bacon. But you can't beat the bacon.

Beef with snow peas stir-fry

ate.2011.11.13.l.jpgThis is a tasty and healthy quick lunch stir-fry. This is the simplest of the variations - there's also spicy sesame beef with snow peas and chicken with snow peas and garlic sauce, but both are a little more work.

Snap the ends of the snow peas as string, if necessary.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil (canola, olive, peanut, whatever). 

Add the snow peas.

Take a 3.2 oz. of pre-cooked frozen beef from the freezer and microwave for 0:40 in the vacuum sealed bag. Stir-fry beef is one of the things that results when I make a roast beef.

Add the beef to the snow peas and cook for a minute.

Season with freshly ground black pepper and granulated garlic. Add a little stir-fry sauce - I like Lee Kum Kee vegetarian stir-fry sauce, which is mushroom flavored. Add a little soy sauce.

Serve with rice. I almost always have cooked Japanese white sushi rice in my refrigerator. Plate one serving, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 0:40.

I've also made this same dish with pre-cooked roasted chicken:

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Sausage and green pepper stir-fry

ate.2011.11.15.l.jpgThis is a quick and tasty stir-fry, great for lunch. There is also a vegetarian version of this recipe, veggie sausage and green pepper stir-fry, that's really good.

Take one green pepper and cut it into strips.

Usually I use two of my homemade spicy breakfast sausage patties but most other kinds of sausage would work. I used to use 3 normal (not maple!) breakfast sausage links. Pre-cooked sausage saves much time an effort, either home-cooked pre-cooked sausage, as in the dish above, or those pre-cooked individually quick frozen sausage links you can get in the supermarket, which also work well. If frozen, cook for about 0:45 in the microwave, covered. Dice into bite-sized pieces.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil (canola, olive, whatever) and the green peppers. Cook until softened. Add the pre-cooked sausage. Cook for a few minutes.

Season with freshly ground pepper, granulated garlic and soy sauce. If using a mild sausage I like to add some cayenne pepper.

Serve with rice. I usually have pre-cooked Japanese white sushi rice in the refrigerator. Plate one serving, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 0:40.

You can also make a really tasty vegetarian version of this dish by using vegetarian sausage substitute, like Gimme Lean.

Twice-cooked pork (or beef) with scallion and broccoli stir-fry

ate.2011.12.09.l.jpgThis delicious and healthy stir-fry is one of my lunch staples. The key to making it quick and easy is pre-cooking and freezing the meat.

I cook a boneless center-cut pork roast in the sous vide, but it works equally well in the oven. Then I cut it into bite-sized pieces, scale out 3.2 oz. and individually vacuum seal and freeze the packages. Stir-fry beef is usually left over from making an eye of round roast beef.

When it's time to make lunch:

Microwave a frozen package of pork or beef for 40 seconds on high.

Cut 3-5 scallions into 1" long pieces, separating the white and green parts.

Cut a handful of broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add some oil. I usually use canola, but olive oil, peanut oil, or just about any oil is fine.

Add the white parts of the scallion and cook for a few minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook for a few minutes.

Add the pre-cooked meat and the green parts of the scallion and cook for a minute.

Turn off the heat on the stove.

Season with granulated garlic and fresh ground black pepper. 

Add a little stir-fry sauce, about a tablespoon. I like Lee Kum Kee vegetarian stir-fry sauce, which is mushroom flavored. Also add a little soy sauce.

Serve with rice. I always have white sushi rice prepared and usually refrigerated, though it does keep for a few days at room temperature. Put a serving of refrigerated rice on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 40 seconds.

The same dish with beef:

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Also the same dish with tofu:

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Shrimp and onion stir-fry with spinach

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This dish is a variation of a dish Mom made when I was little. It's simple, tasty, and quick to make. I modified it to reduce the amount of shrimp and added some spinach to make it a little healthier than my previous recipe.

Serves 1. Multiply as necessary.

cooking oil, such as peanut or canola
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
3.2 oz. shrimp, shelled, deveined, tail removed and cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1 tbsp. sake
1 tbsp. sugar
soy sauce
black pepper

Heat a sauté pan over low heat. Add the oil to coat the bottom thinly.

Add the sliced onions and cook for a few minutes until softened. Make sure the onions do not burn.

Add the shrimp and garlic and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, a couple minutes. Or you can use defrosted, cooked individually quick frozen shrimp which makes the dish even easier. Just wait a little longer before adding cooked shrimp.

Add the spinach and let it wilt for a few minutes.

Add the sake, sugar, soy sauce and black pepper.

Serve with rice.

Update October 5, 2014. Here's a picture of the ingredients before cooking and the final product.

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Spicy sesame beef (pork or shrimp) with snow peas

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I threw this dish together for lunch and it was quite tasty!

String and snap the ends off the snow peas.

Heat toasted sesame oil over medium-high heat.

Add the snow peas and cook for a few minutes.

Add 3.2 oz. of pre-cooked, sliced beef. I used eye of round roast which is inexpensive and works really well in stir-fries. I cook it in the sous vide, chill it, then slice, vacuum seal and freeze it.

Reduce the heat. Add hot pepper sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and a handful of sesame seeds.

That's it!


This dish also works really well with about 3.6 oz. of shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail removed, and diced. I forgot the sesame seeds when I made this plate, but it would normally have them, too. The IQF (individually quick frozen) cleaned, cooked shrimp are great for this. Just defrost in cold water for 15 minutes, remove the tail, dice and that's it.

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Or pork. With 3.2 oz. pre-cooked and frozen pork.

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This is also good with sugar snap peas, though I prefer it with snow peas.

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