I'm physically incapable of only making enough stir-fry for one meal, and I like to have different meat with it on the second night, so I generally bake the meat separately. I do like to cook the meat in the sauce, then I'll keep the meat separate but pour the sauce in with the veggies.
For me, I always start my stir-fry with 1 Tbsp of toasted sesame oil, 30g of almonds, and 6 to 12 cloves of minced garlic. I let them mingle for a while before adding onions and mushrooms. Once the onions are just starting to turn translucent, I add whatever sauce I'm using, then throw in the rest of the veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts). I put the lid on and let them steam for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on how carried away I got with the amount) so that they are just warmed and still crunchy. This is when I'll throw in bok choy, if I'm using it. I give everything a stir and it's ready to serve.
My current favourites for sauces are:
1) 3 Tbsp Hoisin, 3 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses, 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tsp grated ginger, 6-12 cloves minced garlic (basically, a sweet-and-sour sauce)
2) 1/4c Oyster Sauce, 2 Tbsp Soy Seasoning, 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp fennel seed, 6-12 cloves minced garlic
3) 1/4c Rice Vinegar, 1/4c Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses, 3 Tbsp natural peanut butter, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp fennel seed, 6-12 cloves minced garlic (this was what I came up with for my niece, who is allergic to soy)
Depending on what flavour I'm wanting that day, I've added cumin, turmeric, curry powder, dill, coriander, or cardamom (or some mix of them!) to each of these. I'm from the "take a taste - hmmm, I should add..." school of creating sauces! I am allergic to peppers, so don't ever add them, but have been told that a bit of Thai Chili sauce is a great addition to these as well.
Hope you have as much fun as I do when playing with stir-fry sauces!
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