A Simple Vietnamese Stir-Fry

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This recipe is infinitely variable, which I why we love it so much. Substitute absolutely any other veggie that you like to stir-fry. We keep it simple by using asian greens (spicy salad mix, mustard greens), leafy greens (kale, collards), Asian cabbages (napa and pac choi) and other veggies that cook very quickly. Think of this recipe as more of a method and technique than a rigid list of ingredients.

Ingredients

about a 2# combination of pac choi, napa cabbage, pea shoots, or any other stir-fry loving vegetable, roughly chopped into 1 inch chunks

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

about a thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced thinly and cut into little matchsticks

1 thai chile pepper, or any amount of any hot pepper you like, minced

1-2 cups green onions, cut into inch-long pieces

2 T peanut oil (or any other high-heat oil you’d like to use)

1 T fish sauce

1 T soy sauce

Instructions

Get a heavy-bottomed pan or wok very hot. Add the oil, and then the ginger and garlic. Stir once and then allow to cook in place until the ginger and garlic begin to brown at the edges.

Toss in the pac choi or cabbage, stir once, and again, let cook over high heat without disturbing. (Note, if you have delicate veggies like pea shoots, spicy salad mix or spinach, add them near the end so they don’t overcook.) Moving all the bits around too much will result in a soggy, steamed dinner.

After waiting a good solid minute or so, go ahead and jiggle the pan or stir the veggies. If you’ve been patient enough, the edges and flat parts of your veggies will have an appealing, slightly browned/charred appearance. At this point you can add the hot pepper and any delicate veggies you might have and give a stir.

Now add the fish sauce and the soy sauce, and stir again. Let the liquids bubble for a moment and turn off the heat. Serve with coconut-lime rice, and perhaps an icy cold beer.

Coconut Lime Rice

Ingredients

2 cups brown rice

4 cups water

1/2 can or more coconut milk

salt, to taste

lime juice, to taste

Instructions:

Place brown rice and water in a heavy saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked and water is absorbed, anywhere from 20-35 minutes. Add as much coconut milk, salt, and lime juice as you’d like.

 

 

 

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