Friday, March 30, 2007

who needs takeout?

We have always thought that our cravings for chinese food could only be satisfied by heavy, MSG-laden takeout. The deep fried stuff, covered in sticky-sweet sauce. That is, until we decided to experiment for ourselves and create a healthier version of one of our favorite oriental dishes—chicken and vegetable stir-fry.

Authentic chinese food comes from combining authentic ingredients, so a while back we headed to a little oriental market in the West Island and picked up some oyster-flavoured sauce, toasted sesame oil, and some chili-garlic sauce. The keys to a flavourful stir-fry are marinating the meat in advance in some soy sauce, garlic and ginger and cooking at a high heat until the vegetables are tender-crisp, starting with the hardest vegetables first. We like to switch up the meat every so often and use tofu or shrimp as the protein.

Don't be intimidated by this dish. Just use whatever veggies and protein you have in the fridge and some oriental sauces, some broth and plenty of garlic and ginger and you're sure to get a punch of flavour out of this stir-fry. We like to add a dollop of natural peanut butter near the end of the cooking process to thicken the sauce and add some nuttiness.

Dina's success in the kitchen has taught me that the best meals come from using your own creativity and whatever you have in the fridge rather than always following a step-by-step recipe.

Now, what will the weekend have in store?

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