Nutritious Stir Frying

Posted on July 9th, 2012
Categories: News

Travel to the Orient and you’ll definitely see one of the most ancient of cooking methods in practice: Stir-frying.  Developed by the Chinese as a fast and nutritious meal, served with either steaming boiled rice or noodles.

Many other countries have adapted this dish, to suit tastes and indigenous vegetables as there are a lot of advantages to stir-frying foods.

Most importantly, to suit our busy lives, it is a quick and easy meal. You need to slice the food thinly, so only a brief sauté is necessary.  If you prepare all your ingredients beforehand, the actual cooking time is even faster, leaving you more time for your dinner guests and a glass of wine.  Not forgetting the bonus of saving on the gas bill too!

Stir frying is a nutritious method of cooking, as it uses a minimum amount of cooking oil (using a non stick wok or frying pan); and fast cooking retains more vitamins and minerals in vegetables, as overcooking destroys them.   Short cooking times also ensure meat is not overcooked and tough and vegetables retain a nice crunchy texture.

In some recipe books you will often be advised to use dry sherry or rice wine (not to be confused with rice wine vinegar), but I always use a cheap one; there’s no point using something fancy for cooking. The sherry helps build the flavour (and adds body), as well as adding liquid to make the delicious sauce that flavours the rice as well as the stir-fry.

Brown sugar helps to balance the flavours. Much Chinese food depends on a “sweet-and-sour” structure, and stir-fry is no exception. Brown sugar also adds a nice flavour of its own. Add more if the stir-fry tastes too sharp/acidic or unbalanced (ie. a sharp pineapple as used in the below recipe). If you want to be extra healthy go for Jaggery Sugar, as it is unrefined and better for you. You can find it now in most supermarkets.

Garnishing a stir fry with toasted sesame or sunflower seeds, as well as fresh coriander leaves finishes it off perfectly.

This Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry can be a delicious suggestion for your next dinner party.   I have also given you another basic vegetable stir fry recipe which includes a delicious soy sauce, honey and sesame oil sauce. Enjoy!

CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE STIR FRY

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons of peanut or corn oil
600gms of chicken breast, filleted into strips
500gms of fresh pineapple chunks in 1cm x 1cm size
2 garlic cloves, crushed
30gms of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced very thinly
250gms of cherry tomatoes – halved (or use 4-5 italian tomatoes chopped)
1 large red onion – very finely sliced
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Hoi Sin sauce (easy to find in a jar in most supermarkets)
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
60mls of chicken stock
Large handful of fresh coriander leaves to garnish

METHOD:

  1. Place the oil into a wok or large saucepan and heat
  2. Add the chicken strips, fry for 3 minutes
  3. Then add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until slightly browned
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes and pineapple and stir well, cook for 1 minute
  5. Then pour the stock into the wok and reduce the liquid by half
  6. Mix the hoi sin sauce, brown sugar and soy sauce, mix well then add to the wok
  7. Cook for a further minute
  8. Sprinkle the coriander over the mixture and serve immediately

Serve with either plain rice or noodles and a fresh salad

With thanks to Lakuku for this delicious recipe