Wok-Seared Vegetables recipe from Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge cookbook by Grace Young
Author Grace Young:
This recipe is a template for how to stir-fry vegetables with hard, medium-hard, and soft textures. ‘Hard’ carrots are cut into 1/4-inch-thick julienne pieces so that they cook quickly. Blanching the ‘medium-hard’ asparagus enables it to be stir-fried together with the shiitake mushrooms and ‘soft’ cherry tomatoes. This is a dish I like to make in the spring when asparagus comes into season. I prefer using grape tomatoes because they have more flavor than regular tomatoes that time of the year. You can substitute button mushrooms for the shiitakes.
THE RECIPE. We cook stir-fry vegetables so often that we’ve become more than a bit robotic in our preparation. This recipe, serving as a template for vegetables with varying textures and requiring varying cooking times, introduced us to the concept of precooking some vegetables and cutting others into smaller pieces so that all can be stir-fried for the same amount of time.
THE RESULT. Though a bit more complicated than our lazy method of simply stir-frying some of the veggies longer than others, this recipe resulted in vegetables that kept their color and contributed to a beautiful vegetable side dish.
Yield: Serves 4 as a vegetable side dish
- 12 ounces medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 8 medium fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a 2-quart saucepan bring 3 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook, stirÂring, 1 minute or until the asparagus is bright green and the water has almost returned to a boil. Drain the asparagus in a colander, shaking well to remove excess water. In a small bowl combine the rice wine, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
2. Heat a 14-inch .at-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the shallot, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Add the asparagus, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry 1 minÂute or until the mushrooms begin to wilt. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle on the sugar and salt, swirl the rice wine mixture into the wok, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
© 2010 Simon & Schuster
From Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories, by Grace Young