Your Friday Night Homemade Takeout: Chinese Stirfry
I know, I know, it’s an oxymoron, ‘homemade takeout’…I just thought I’d confuse you for a Friday morning ;).
Before I get into our takeout recipe this week make sure you check the blog on Monday! That’s right, it’s time for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011 recipe reveal!
This is where I reveal the recipe I made for this year’s first cookie swap that I participated in. I sent my cookies to a blogger in New York (I’ll reveal who on Monday!) and should be receiving some goodies myself soon…I can’t wait!
For now, let’s get you the best, healthiest Chinese takeout for your Friday night, shall we (for a fraction of the cost, sodium/fat/calories etc)?
I’m lucky enough to live in Vancouver, with a really thriving Asian culture thanks to the large number of Asian immigrants. We have a huge Chinatown and the Asian food served here is the real deal. Sushi is like…$2 a roll and uses the freshest of ingredients and is made by people who grew up learning the art of making sushi. You really can’t beat it. For that reason, I usually don’t bother and have never really tried cooking sushi at home. Within ONE block of my apartment there are four sushi places! Some serve my favourite yam and avocado roll or veggie roll at $2.50 a roll. So…why bother, right?
Chinese food, on the other hand, is a different story. There are many fresh Chinese restaurants that serve great-quality, healthy Chinese fare but a lot of them also use a ton of meat (and I try not to support that too much when eating out) and a lot of them also taste very ‘fast foody’ – i.e. I feel a bit of what I call a ‘salt coma’ afterwards, where you feel too full and bloated and just sluggish. Yuck.
So I took to making my favourite – a veggie stirfry – at home. This dish is a nutritional powerhouse. Check out the nutritional info below – a full, complete meal in under 500 calories with nearly 13g fibre per serving! And nearly 22g of protein per serving! Tons of healthy fats too.
And what is the magic ingredient that gives the broccoli and mushrooms and bok choy and all those other veg the wonderful flavour?
Well, I will let you in on a big secret. My friend’s Chinese mother revealed it to me and it has made the WORLD of difference in my Chinese cooking.
Are you ready?
It’s a pretty big secret.
I don’t want to just GIVE it away…
Oh, all right. I love you guys after all.
That’s right, oyster sauce! Using that in conjunction with soy sauce makes the dish just BURST with flavour.
Yes, you are right. Oyster sauce isn’t vegetarian. BUT you can get a vegetarian version! I get mine from my local supermarket but if your supermarket doesn’t have a well-stocked foreign foods section you may need to venture into your city’s Chinatown or local Asian store. But once you get a bottle, you’re sorted. I promise.
So now you know the secret ingredient, the recipe is a bit of an anticlimax, but here it is anyway ;).
Anna’s Chinese Vegetable Stirfry
INGREDIENTS (serves 4):
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 head organic broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 bag baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
2 cups crimini or shiitake mushrooms (or a mix), sliced
2 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated
1 cup bean sprouts
4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (use gluten-free tamari to make recipe gluten-free)
2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1 cups jasmine rice
1/2 cup raw cashews
1. Boil 2 cups water and add jasmine rice. Let cook while you work on the stirfry.
2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large wok. Add garlic, ginger, broccoli and carrots.
3. Stirfry 5 minutes or so until carrots are starting to soften. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more, until mushrooms are golden.
4. Add in the baby bok choy and bean sprouts at the same time as the soy sauce, oyster sauce and cashews. Stirfry a few minutes more, until bok choy starts to wilt and the sauce thickens slightly.
5. Serve immediately!
Nutritional information below per serving if serves 4: