If you are an Asian cuisine purist, look away now. 

If, however, you are one of those people who likes dishes that help you find a home for the vegetable orphans (you know what I mean – the remnants that you didn’t need in other dishes) and other odds-n-ends … well, come on in!  This is the dish for you!

It started out as a tried, tested and true adherence to a recipe by Nigel Slater, but since then, it’s evolved into a little-bit-of-this, a-few-bits-of-that and, I have to say, it’s benefitted from the change.  The sauce always remains the same, but the stir-fry, well, that is limited only by your leftovers. 

Whatever Happens to Be in My Fridge Stir-Fry

Things that are not optional;

  • Garlic oil
  • 1 3″ piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 chilli peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced on diagonal
  • 1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp corn starch

Optional (use all … some … any combination … have a ball!)

  • 4 pork loin chops or chicken breast 1″ thick, sliced pinkie-width
  • Mushrooms, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, matchsticked
  • Bok choy, trimmed
  • Bean sprouts

Pour the soy, vinegar, sugar chicken stock and corn starch into a measuring cup and stir well, then set aside.  If you’re using meat or tofu, heat the wok over a crankin-high flame – seriously, get it stonking hot and make sure that everything is prepped and ready to go.  This is definitely not a prep-as-you-cook kind of meal. When everything is ready, drizzle a little garlic oil in the wok and brown the pork (or whatever) in batches.  You don’t need to cook it completely, just make sure it’s browned well, then set aside.  Next, cook your peppers, carrots, and mushrooms for a minute or so, then add your flavor bomb – the ginger, garlic and chillies, cooking another minute or so.  Be sure to toss everything around well to make sure it’s incorporated.  Then add the delicate stuff (bok choy, spinach, bean sprouts, etc) and give them a good toss before adding the meat back in and pouring in the liquids.  Stir well — you’ll see the liquid thicken fairly quickly – within about a minute or two.  Just before you serve, stir in the cilantro, then serve over rice or egg noodles.