Golden Book: Learn to Cook (Stir Fry)

It’s been a while since I posted about my favorite Little Golden Book but I recently had an exciting breakthrough in the kitchen and it seemed like a good time to revisit it. Learning to cook isn’t technically one of the golden book rules but it’s in keeping with the theme of trying new things. This week I attempted to make chicken and veggie stir fry and it turned out beautifully. Through a combination of this Broccoli and Chicken Stir-Fry recipe and a few helpful tips from my mom, this was a stunning success!

My last attempt at chicken stir fry was years ago during my days as a poor, starving college student. Having little cooking experience at that time, I dumped in way too much soy sauce to disastrous effect. The dish was so salty it was nearly inedible and I was never brave enough to give it another try. However, I’ve been craving the stuff ever since my mom made it during one of my Colorado visits and I was determined to get it right this time. Here are a few tips for avoiding my early mistakes and cooking up a delicious stir fry that’s bound to hit the spot.

  • Chop all your ingredients beforehand – Once your chicken is cooked, things will go very quickly. I used a bag of pre-chopped assorted vegetables which included broccoli, carrots and Snow Peas. To this I also added one small sweet onion, half of a red bell pepper for some color and sliced water chestnuts to give it some crunch (stir in the water chestnuts at the end). 
  • Use LITE SOY SAUCE!!! – Trust me on this. Also, never wing it with your soy sauce measurement. Do it right. In this case, ⅔ of a cup was perfect. 
  • Use fresh ginger – I grated a bit into my sauce mixture and also added some shredded ginger to my veggies as they cooked.
  • Use sesame oil – The recipe calls for vegetable oil but for the best flavor, I recommend cooking your chicken and veggies in sesame oil instead. 
  • Don’t forget your red pepper flakes – They add a nice spice. 
  • Steam your veggies – I cooked my chicken and veggies separately. I added a bit of water to my veggies on medium low heat for a few minutes to allow them to soften. I then added my cooked chicken back to the pot with my sauce mixture. 

Serve it up on a pretty plate and you’ll have yourself a gourmet looking feast for four (or dinner for one for the whole week). Enjoy!

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