Tag Archives: Stir fries

How to make the perfect Stir Fry…

What is a Stir Fry…?

Fish, meat, noodles or vegetables cooked in a small amount of oil over high heat while stirring briskly…Originating in China it has spread into other parts of Asia and the West.

I will be honest I struggled with stir fry’s when I lived in the UK now it is second nature to me…it is also the main method of cooking here…

I think the closest western countries come to stir-frying is sauté. It is also because food is cooked so quickly called blitz cooking by some…

The main sauces I use to stir fry are:

  • Oyster Sauce- richly flavoured, dark brown sauce made from oysters with salt and water.
  • Light Soy Sauce- Thai soy sauce has a mild and soft salty flavour not present in many other Asian soy sauces.
  • Dark Sweet Soy- very similar to Indonesian kecap manis, this syrupy sauce is thick, dark, and sweet. Also used as a dipping sauce.
  • Black Soy Sauce-a strong and bold, salty, and somewhat sweet soy sauce with a strong molasses flavour…I only ever use about 1/4 tsp for colour rather than flavour.
  • Mushroom Soy Sauce…made from mushrooms it can be used interchangeably with plain light soy sauce. It’s just a matter of preference…mine is the mushroom soy.
  • Golden Mountain Seasoning- a popular brand here and can be used instead of Maggi again its personal preference.
  • Maggi Seasoning- another popular seasoning sauce
  • Sesame Oil- an edible vegetable oil used sparingly in some of my stir-fries.
  • Soy Bean Paste-also is known as yellow bean sauce and salted soybeans, a much loved Thai condiment. There is also no doubt that it will heighten the flavour of food. Use in stir-fries particularly morning Glory.
  • Fish Sauce-made from fish or krill that have been coated in salt and fermented for up to two years.

Of course, there are other sauces used in stir-fries but these are my larder staples…I also buy the best that I can… like anything we all have favourites and there are many different makes…The only thing I will say is that with Soy sauce, in particular, they do vary greatly on whether you buy Thai Soy or Chinese/Korean Soy and do make a difference to the flavour of your stir fry.

Stir-fries are lovely because you can use anything and I do…I very rarely measure, weigh my meat, fish, noodles or veg… I go by eye …I think many cooks do this especially if they cook a dish often…

It also makes a difference in what type of heat you use...Gas or open fire and yes many Thais still cook on an open fire is better as your pan or wok heats up quicker and hotter and it does affect the taste especially with vegetable stir-fries like Morning Glory.

Other ingredients I always use in a stir fry…Again these are my staples for a stir fry.

  • Garlic
  • Chillies
  • Thai Basil
  • Holy Basil
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • Fresh Lime Juice

I also sometimes use red curry paste, fresh peppercorns.

I will give you some examples…

If I stir fry liver I use shredded lime leaves, fish sauce, red curry paste and fresh Lime juice often I just squeeze the lime and chuck in the rind and remove before serving.

If stir-frying meat I would use garlic, birds eye chillies, oyster sauce, mushroom soy, a tiny amount of black soy and a couple of shakes of Maggi or green Mountain seasoning and a little water.

Plus any vegetables like snake beans which come in green or red, kale, broccoli, wing beans…

 

If making a vegetable stir fry then I would use shallots or onions, green onions, maybe bell peppers or I sometimes add some noodles plus the sauces…

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.
Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans ( optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock


Let’s Cook!

Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.


Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.
Enjoy!

This stir fry was just made up as Aston wanted pork with peppercorns…

smart

STIR-FRIED pORK WITH pEPPERCORNS AND WING BEANS.

To make I just thinly sliced pork loin but you could use fillet of pork or chicken, A small amount of red curry paste which I cooked in a tiny bit of oil and with some shredded lime leaves and a shake of fish sauce. I then added a little coconut milk to make a little sauce added some chopped garlic and then my pork… cooked on high for a few minutes until the meat was cooked…sliced thinly and cooked high this cut cooks very quickly then added a couple strands of fresh peppercorns, chopped a snake bean and a couple of lovely wing beans cook for about 1-2 mins as we like our veg crisp. Taste and adjust seasoning but if you taste all through the cooking it should be fine..serve with rice or noddles…Enjoy!

If I am using Thai basil or holy basil the I cook my meat with oyster sauce, soy and black soy instead of the curry paste and then I wouldn’t use fish sauce.I only use fish sauce when I use curry paste.

This link is for the recipe with Thai basil but using minced pork and will give you the measurements but once or if you make as many stir-fries as I do then it becomes second nature and I just use my wooden spoon or with the Maggi seasoning just a few shakes and taste…https://carolcooks2.com/2018/08/25/krapow-grapow-moo-pork-with-basil/

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

If Thais use Grapow Moo or holy basil they add an egg and if it is sweet basil called horapa in Thai ..no egg.

Don’t forget you can use fish cut up small or prawns or noodles…Yellow noodles are lovely with chicken and a few veggies or just without the chicken and some veggies…Almost anything goes with a stir fry…

I hope this has helped demystify a stir fry as many people I know just don’t like making them and steer clear just use your instincts and taste…As for measurement a handful of this and that depending on how many you are cooking for it will get easier any questions I am happy to help…

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and well being.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…Then, I will be happy!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx

Eat Smart, Eat Healthy…No more Diets

Winter warming Soups and chilli

Good morning from sunny Thailand… we are warm here as we are coming into our High Season soon while many of you I know are feeling the winter chills… This week some healthy lunches…which will warm you up …

It is quite difficult to think of what to suggest as when I worked in my last job although we had the heating on  the doors were continually opening and closing so if you were working on the ground floor it was a tad cold most of the time so a warm bowl of soup or a jacket potato was very welcome at lunchtime.

I always used to make extra if I made a stew or chilli and freeze in portions it was then easy to take to work and I know from experience that if I ventured out at lunchtime as I hadn’t bought anything in with me it was over to Marks & Spencer who do the most divine sandwiches and of course all their yummy sweet things are by the till…Do I need to say more???

Not taking in lunch is a trap many of us fall into without realising, isn’t it? Plus it is more costly…

As I am at home and  Lunch is my main meal I generally have a stir fry they are quick to do and cook while the rice is cooking which Is why I like them…

Fried Fish with peppercorns in black bean sauce.
Serves 1.

fish black bean sauce

  • 100 gm white fish cut into smallish pieces and rolled in rice flour.
  • Small onion roughly cut
  • 2 spring onion sliced
  • 1-2 chillies sliced diagonally
  • 1 stem of fresh peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Sm piece fresh ginger minced or finely Julienne
  • Fish sauce to taste.

Lets Cook!

Heat up the oil in a wok and shallow fry fish quickly on each side until it becomes golden brown, it will take around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
In the same wok where fish is fried sauté garlic, chilli, onion and ginger.
Add green onion and peppercorns then stir-fry for a minute. Then add fish.
Add splash water, black bean sauce bring to a rolling boil, add fish and turn over once to coat with the sauce and simmer for 2 mins. If the sauce is thin you can add a bit of cornstarch/arrowroot slurry to thicken it.
Flavour with fish sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with steamed rice and a chilli dip( optional)

You could also make this at home and heat gently at work for lunch or microwave it.

Jacket Potatoes…Easy to do and will fill you up…If you have an oven at work then in your pop one in the oven and take a portion of chilli, baked beans, cheese, coleslaw, sweetcorn, caramelised onions and mushrooms what is your favourite topping?

jacket-potato-2906023_640

My favourite is chilli be it a meat or vegetarian one or cheese and coleslaw if it isn’t too cold.

Carol’s Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

NB. HELP! I would rather use dried kidney beans rather than tinned HOWEVER I soak them for hours then cook then add to my chilli and they are still not soft…I don’t have a pressure cooker but is there anyone who can give me some tips and I don’t add salt while soaking.

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

 

vegetarian chilli with lentils

 

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook ( there wasn’t any) just ingredients …he is also male…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Enjoy!

Both of these make great toppings for jacket potatoes or with rice …

Soup is also very good...You make a batch at home and freeze in portions it just needs reheating or take it in a thermos flask…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.

1 onion sliced

6 sprigs of thyme tied together

3 cloves of garlic

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups of water

1 cup of cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup

 

I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite lunch?

I have added the link to a Chicken Noodle soup as it also has the recipe for homemade chicken broth.

Noodle-soup-Thai-chicken

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/09/13/thai-chicken-noodle-soup/

All of these you could batch cook every two weeks and freeze in portions and you would never have to worry about what is for lunch… Just add your garnishes and herbs if required…

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients that I cook with have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you for reading I hope you enjoy the soup …Or maybe you have already tried it…Do you love it?? Please let me know in comments xxx

Retired No One Told me! Weekly Roundup…Recipes and Rants…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Wow, the weeks are just flying by now aren’t they and I am sure that many of you have got your Christmas socks out and are putting those feet up for a well-deserved rest… It is certainly starting to get a bit crazy out there so grab a cuppa put those feet up. Relax and enjoy …

For those of you who unfortunately suffer from Arthritis and gout …Sally has published some good advice on how you may be able to ease your symptoms and which foods may help and which foods you may need to avoid…

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/29/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-arthritis-rheumatoid/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-arthritis-osteo-and-gout/

Monday saw me posting about What is Processed Food?

processed Foods

 Processed food is any food which has been altered in some way during its preparation. Some examples are freezing, canning, drying and baking… Which means that not all processed food is unhealthy we just need to be aware of the foods which we may need to eat in moderation or totally avoid if we can…

I do hope that you are finding these posts helpful I myself am enjoying my research as there ARE somethings which I wasn’t aware of and as I only have one body I want it to stay as healthy as it can…

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/05/what-is-the-definition-of-processed-food/

soup on the hob or fire

Eat Smart, Eat Healthy on Tuesday’s covers healthy Eating and also this week I covered Intermittent Fasting which is the eating plan I have adopted unknowingly I will add or not knowing what stages your body/digestion goes through during the day and how that way of eating can be good for you… It also contained some soup recipes which are handy to have on the go especially this time of year where in some parts of the world the weather is getting cold and if you have been busy shopping or working it is so easy to heat up…

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/06/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-to-diets-2/

Wednesdays are my regular Cookery Columns over @ Smorgasbord Magazine and the topic this time was how to cook a great stir fry something which took me a while to master my early attempts were like my fried rice you just wouldn’t want to go back for seconds or indeed even eat it…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-carol-cooks-stir-fries/

Thursdays are now my Waste not! Want Not! days and it has morphed into something much bigger and for sure I am learning much but also pleasantly surprised at what many of you already do..So a big well done…Give yourselves a pat on the back!

Waste and Pollution

It is when I see beaches with all that rubbish it breaks my heart I mean how can little children play on that sand?  If that is on the beach what is in the sea and poisoning the marine life?

So sad to see how man is spoiling our beautiful world…

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/08/waste-not-want-not-part-four/

Friday was more joyous as yes we are entering the Season of Goodwill to all men…There are recipes and trivia..All sorts of festive cheer… and a recipe for Irish Cream which if you love Bailey’s you will love this …Easy to make and even easier to drink…x

box-christmas jumper -christmas-balls-714696 (1)

I have also issued a Christmas jumper challenge …So send in your pictures and we will see whose is the best or funniest…

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/09/christmas-treats-traditions-and-trivia/

That’s all for this weeks roundup please keep those comments coming I have had some great responses and ideas and I will be writing to a certain chairman and making a suggestion on how they can help reduce waste…An idea from the lovely Will Dare but more about that next Thursday…I thought his idea was a brilliant one 🙂

Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend and try not to let the festivities stress you out…Remember to take time out for yourself if you can xxx 

About Carol Taylor::)

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then you will be made welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx