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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stir-Fry with Homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce

This is another dinner that scores pretty low on the "thought involved" chart, meaning it is a perfect answer to "What Should We Have for Dinner Tonight?" or "What Should I Do With All These Vegetables?!" (happily, a question that is occurring pretty often these days as the farmers markets are full to the brim.)

When I make a simple meal, like a stir-fry, I like to add a little something different - in this case homemade sweet & sour sauce, to guarantee nobody dies of boredom. This sauce is more hot than not, which is welcomed as it's paired with uncomplicated veggies, tofu, and grains that embrace the kick!

This makes enough sweet & sour sauce to store a small container in your fridge - the perfect condiment for fresh spring rolls, dumplings, and simple fried rice dishes!

Sweet & Sour Sauce:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 cup finely diced pineapple
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup (make sure your ketchup doesn't have added sugar, corn syrup etc.)
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (recommended: Sriracha) *I'd use only 1 tbl next was a little too spicy for me
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Stir in the pineapple, vinegar, ketchup, chili garlic sauce, and the sugar. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable broth and cornstarch until smooth. Add to the sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and cool slightly.

*Use any combination of fresh veggies available
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 large handful pea pods
1 head of broccoli, trimmed into tiny trees
1 orange pepper, sliced thin
1 large handful baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin
8 oz. tofu, cubed (I used baked tofu)
sprinkle sea salt

Heat a wok on high and add oil, let oil got hot for a minute. Toss in all the veggies & tofu - dramatically toss around using lots of flare. Depending on the heat of your wok, and how soft you like your veggies, this can take 3-8 minutes.

I served the veggies over a big pile of quinoa but you can use any grain you like - brown rice, couscous, or noodles! Spoon the sweet & source sauce on top (remember to taste for your personal heat level before you spoon it all over your dinner!)

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