Stir-Fried Vegetables

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 15 minutes

Stir-fries are quick, easy, and a fantastic way to use those single carrots, celery stalks, and handful of other vegetables sitting in your fridge. One key to a fast stir-fry is the size in which you cut your vegetables: The smaller you cut them, the quicker they will cook.

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

1/2 cup chopped scallion or onion

1 large carrot, cut into pieces, sliced, or julienned

2 stalks celery, cut into pieces, sliced, or julienned

1 pound snow or snap peas, trimmed (defrosted frozen are fine)

1/4 cup any stock or water, or a little more

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the oil and, almost immediately, the garlic, ginger, and scallion. Cook, stirring, for about 15 seconds, then add the carrot, celery, snow peas, and stock and raise the heat to high.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. If the mixture is completely dry, add a couple tablespoons more liquid, then the soy sauce and sesame oil; stir and turn off the heat. Serve or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a day.

7 Seasonings or Crunchy Bits to Add to Stir-Fried Vegetables

Add the following in quantities to taste. You’ll want more nuts up to a cup than black beans (just a couple tablespoons), but the quantity of any of these can be adjusted in any direction you like.

  1. Walnuts, peanuts, or cashews, stirred in during the last minute of cooking (you can precook the nuts earlier to brown if you like, but be careful not to burn them)
  2. Fermented black beans, about 2 tablespoons, soaked for about 10 minutes in 1/4 cup of Shaoxing wine, sherry, or water and added with about a minute to go
  3. Dried chiles, as many as you like, left whole, or 1 or 2 small fresh chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced, added at the beginning of cooking
  4. 1/2 cup (or to taste) Crunchy Crumbled Tempeh, added with the soy sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon (or to taste) any Chile Paste, or hoisin sauce, added along with the soy sauce
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste), honey, or other sweetener, along with the stock or water
  7. Tofu Croutons, added with the soy sauce