From “A Nomad Homecook’s Perpetual Almanac Cookbook (The PAC)” (c) 2020 OTBI
Credited to the ancient Chinese although evident in indiginous cooking worldwide, stir frying is a method of preparing tender meat and crisp vegetables that retains flavor, nutrition and can feed a large group in mere minutes using little food or fuel. The main purpose of stir frying is to evaporate the moisture from the foods. You basically stir thin-sliced ingredients into a wok (large frypan) with searing hot oil, and stir contantly, adding ingredients in stages until it’s all reunited into one stir fried platter. Its a great go-to when you have extra vegetables on hand. We enjoy stir frying most often while camping, where we use an actual wok instead of a frypan. A wok definitely makes a difference and its worth investing in a good one that is authentic.
If rice will be added to your stir fry, make it a day ahead so the moisture will have been fully absorbed by the grains. You can sprout mung beans a week in advance of dinner and it’s a delightful addition to every sir fry (See May 9th: Family Activities + Crafts). If you keep sesame oil, cabbage, and fresh ginger on-hand then a whole new world will open up for you, and stir frying will become a fast, delicious option for a healthy dinner year-round.
Mushroom seasoning is an optional alternative to monosodium glutamate (MSG), which some people may be sensitive to. It definitely punches up the flavor but it’s not essential. Soy Sauce is the traditional alternative to liquid aminos but I prefer the taste and health benefits that come with liquid aminos.
Ham Fried Rice (Chinese-style)
makes 4 cups, double as needed
Prepare in advance and refrigerate overnight.
3 cups Calrose rice
3-3/4 cups water
Add whisked eggs to hot oil and stir constantly until scramble eggs are light and dry. Reserve.
1 tablespoon olive oil
Saute until vegetables become fragrant and onions become translucent.
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons thin-sliced yellow onion
1/4 cup cooked, drained peas
1/4 cup diced carrot
Add ham and stir until warmed.
1/2 c diced ham
Add seasonings and stir-in rice until warmed. Remove from heat and keep covered. Hot hold until serving.
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning (optional)
1/2 teaspoon liquid aminos (soy sauce)