If you ask me, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Just empty that crisper drawer onto the counter and start chopping. It’s quite liberating.
You’ll also want to do a good rifle through your cupboard for any and all asian style sauces. If you’ve got some protein to throw in there then great, but if not this is perfectly delicious as a veggie stirfry as well.
Recipe serves 2Â
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 or 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 head brocoli, florets cut off, stalks chopped up (don’t you dare throw away those stalks!)
- 1/4 head of red cabbage, chopped
- 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
- 6-8 brown mushrooms, chopped
- 1 small can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1-2 red chilis, seeded and finely chopped
- Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts, chopped
- Wedge of lime to garnish
- Glug of vegetable or wok oil
This was truly a free-for-all sauce. I can barely remember how I made mine, it was just a frenzy of spicy, sweet and salty goodness. So you can do your own thing with whatever you’ve got, but I’ll do my best to remember how mine came together.
- 1/4 cup hoisin, black bean or teriyaki sauce (depending if you want a sweeter or salty base)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- A few drops of sesame oil (this stuff is strong so don’t get too heavy handed)
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (aka Rooster sauce aka most delicious addition to any meal)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
If you’re cooking brown rice, this takes almost an hour all up, so get started on that first. The ratio is 2:1, so 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice, which is generally plenty for 2 people. When your water is boiling add your rice, and I like to add about a teaspoon of butter and a good pinch of salt as well. Stir altogether, turn your heat down to low, and put the lid on your pot.
Now I’ve always questioned just how much it really matters if you lift the lid part way through cooking. People always make such a stink about it, andÂ apparentlyÂ the stinky people were right. You really can’t lift the lid. Just try and rein in your kid-on-christmas-morning urges and just trust that the water is bubbling, the rice is cooking, and it will be done when it’s done. So put your timer on for 45 minutes and be patient.
Mix together your sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.Â As I said, mine was an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of sauce, so you’ll want to just pour and mix and taste until it’s just right*
* Please see Goldilocks & The 3 Bears for tips on how to know when something is “just right”.
Pour a good glugÂ of vegetable oil in a wok or a nice big pan over medium – high heat. Throw in your chopped onion, a clove of crushed garlic, and chopped chili and sautÃ© until the onions are translucent, but not turning brown.
Now add your chicken and watch for the sizzling oil – it’ll jump up and bite you.Â Turn the heat down to medium, and once the chicken is slightly browned, throw in the rest of your ingredients and stir altogether.
Try a piece of brocoli after a few minutes and see how it tastes. This should be a good measure for the rest of the ingredients.
Turn the heat down low and when it’s been 45-50 minutes, take the lid off (YES YOU CAN!) the brown rice and fluff it with a fork. Let it stand for a few minutes with the lid off.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, a handful of chopped cashews or peanuts, and a wedge of lime on the side.
And voila! Easy Peezy as my mum would say.