This easy winter stir fry is one of the recipes that proved that gardening is worthwhile. Harvesting the ingredients from the backyard to make a healthy dinner brings great satisfaction.
Feeding my family clean seasonal food was the ultimate goal behind starting a garden. And then watching my four kids whine less about the veggie-loaded dinners was the cherry on top.
As a busy mother, I find this recipe quick to put together for a weeknight dinner. All you need is a rough chop and a quick saute of the veggies before adding them to the starch of your choice.
Since I took it upon myself to feed my kids clean food, I had to do something about their carvings. After all, they do go to school, and junk and fast foods surround them from all directions. So, I had to find a way to make imitations for their so-called favorites.
This recipe is an inspiration from Chinese food, with a slight modification in the use of oils, sodium and sugars added.
What you need for this recipe
To make this recipe, you need protein, vegetables, and a sauce. The key is to use ingredients you enjoy.
The protein whatever you enjoy. We made this recipe with firm tofu, chicken, beef, and shrimp. Sometimes I even skip it and make it only with vegetables.
To enhance the flavor of this dish some key ingredients are needed. Sauteing garlic and ginger first is the base of cooking this dish. It allows them to release their aromatics. Then adding green onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds at the end brings up the flavors a notch.
I do not like to buy pre-made sauces. I prefer to use simple ingredients for a cleaner taste. So for this sauce, I choose to use honey, low sodium soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil. bring it together with some water and corn or tapioca starch.
How to make the recipe
Prepare the vegetables and clean the shrimp:
After washing the vegetables, get chopping. Cut the broccoli into florets, the carrots, and turnips into thin slices. Chop the green onions and mince the garlic and ginger. Shell and de-vein the shrimp, and clean it well under cold water.
Add more oil, if needed, to the wok. Drop in the vegetables (except the green onions) one at a time, starting with garlic and ginger. Give a quick stir with each addition. Put back the shrimp to finish cooking with the veggies for about five minutes. You may cover the pot if you prefer softer veggies.
In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of each soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Then add in one cup of water and two tablespoons of starch. Use a whisk to blend everything well and loosen the starch lumps.
Add the sauce:
On high flame, pour the prepared sauce over the cooked vegetables and shrimp, then stir to coat. The sauce should thicken in a few minutes, don’t leave it alone.
In my household, we serve it with lo-Mein noodles with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Tips and substitutions
Substitute honey for sugar for a healthier option. Measure the oil first then honey using the same measuring cup. The honey will pour out much easier that way.
Any odorless cooking oil will do if you don’t have sesame oil, even though the latter is more authentic and adds more depth.
All Season Stir Fry
- a wok or large skillet
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- 2-4 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 1/2 lbs clean shrimp
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 2 cup sliced carrots
- 2 cup sliced turnips
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
- In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Fish sauce, sesame oil, honey, water, and the cornstarch. Once well incorporated set aside for later use.
- On a high flame, heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok. Saute the shrimp for a minute. It does not need to be cooked through just to get some color. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
- Add more oil to the wok then add in the garlic and ginger and saute for a minute till fragrant.
- Next add the vegetables one at a time, stirring after each addition.
- Once all the vegetables are added, put back the shrimp. Give them a quick stir then let cook on a medium flame for five minutes. You may cover with a lid for softer veggies.
- Once cooked pour the prepared sauce over them. Bring the heat to high and stir to coat. It takes a minute for the sauce to thicken and glisten.
- Turn off the heat, and add the garnishes: Sesame seeds, spring onions and cilantro.
- Serve over rice or noodles.
- Replace shrimp with chicken and orange juice instead of water to turn the recipe into Orange Chicken.
- Use fish sauce if hoisin sauce is not available.
- Substitute honey for brown sugar.
- For a vegetarian option use tofu or pre-cooked chickpeas.
- Any odorless oil will work instead of sesame oil.