Read The Laughing Chef's bio and previous
February 18, 2009
Deftness of Hand: The
Secret to Stir Fry
Here is the secret of stir fry when it comes down to
actually cooking it, you will want the process to go so quickly that
time itself appears to reverse.
Wow, that is fast.
It is fast enough to say
from the outset that more of your time will be spent assembling
ingredients than cooking. This places a premium on organization, and
deftness with the hand.
Here is the second secret
of the stir fry it will take you longer to assemble a stir fry sauce
than it will to actually make the stir fry. This means the real cooking
takes place before the actual cooking.
In a small skillet,
assemble the sauce by mixing together sesame oil, a little chili oil,
grated fresh ginger, minced garlic, lemon zest, salt, cornstarch and
water. Whisk together until thickened, and then allow to cook for a
minute or so longer. Make sure you stir occasionally to prevent burning
to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Now assemble your
ingredients. Let us start by cutting up a filet of fish that doesnt
easily flake. Orange roughy is a fish that holds up well under short,
intense heat. The fish will be lonely, so give it uncooked shrimp as
company. Fish and shrimp do not always socialize well in the ocean. In
fact, fish have a nasty habit of making a meal of shrimp. In the
kitchen, however, fish develop a keen empathy and the two get along,
These vegetables will go
well with shrimp and fish green pepper, red onion, mini corns and
slices of zucchini and summer squash. Cut them up, and put them in a
Crack your knuckles and
pour into a wok a couple of tablespoons of canola or peanut oil. The
idea is to get an oil that can tolerate high heat without smoking. You
will push the limits of the oil.
Heat the oil. Grab
something, and feel the rush as you push the limits of the oils
tolerance for heat. If the tension becomes too great, let out a scream
that builds to a peak right as the oil maxes out. Throw in the fish and
shrimp and cook quickly for a few minutes until the shrimp has changed
color from grey to pink and the fish is cooked through. Remove and set
Toss in the vegetables
and the sauce. Be careful here. You will want just enough sauce to coat
the vegetables, but not so much that it dominates. It should accentuate,
Your hands should move so
quickly that people peeking in your window should see nothing but a
blur. Constantly toss the vegetables and move up on the sides, allowing
the sauce to create a small pool in the center of the wok.
Do this for just a few
minutes. Again, the point is not to make your vegetables limp and soggy,
but to where they lose their firmness. When your vegetables reach this
point, add the cooked fish and shrimp and toss in the sauce. Lay over
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