Monday, April 5, 2010

From Our Table: Spicy Vegetarian Stir-Fry

My wife is an amazing home cook and has agreed to let me post the recipes of our favorites meals on my blog.  I have done my best to recreate her recipes using common measurements, as she never uses anything but her natural talent and discerning senses to create our meals.  I hope I have done her justice and that you enjoy this recipe and the rest that are to follow.

1 Large Eggplant
1 Medium head of broccoli
2 Red bell peppers
½ lb Mushrooms
3 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Pinch Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Fresh ginger, 1-inch piece peeled and minced
3 Large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Cup low-sodium vegetable broth
6 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
¼ Teaspoon Sriracha Chili Sauce (feel free to use less or more depending on how spicy you like it!)
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and then slice crosswise into wedges, no more than 1-inch wide. Cut the broccoli into medium sized florets and slice the red bell peppers and mushrooms into bite size pieces.

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high flame and add the oils. When you see a slight smoke, add a layer of eggplant, stir-fry until seared and sticky, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggplant to a side platter and cook the remaining eggplant in the same manner, adding more oil, if needed.

After all the eggplant is out of the pan, add the broccoli. Cook broccoli halfway through before adding the peppers and mushrooms to the wok, stir-fry until seared.

Once all the vegetables are cooked, add the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir fry for a minute until fragrant, do not brown. Add the broth and cook for another minute.

In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and sriracha until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the wok and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Put the vegetables back in the pan, tossing quickly, until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4

Best served warm over a big bowl of sticky rice (basic sticky rice recipe below).

2 Cups Short-grain rice
4 Cups water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt

Wash rice until water runs clear; drain in a colander. Transfer rice to a pot or electric rice cooker and add water. Bring water to a boil. Simmer over low heat, allowing rice to steam for 15 minutes with the cover on at all times. Remove from heat and keep covered, allowing to steam for another 15 minutes.

Mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt over low heat in a saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolves. With a wooden spoon, delicately fold vinegar mixture into rice. Serve warm.

Makes approximately 4 cups of sticky rice.

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