Chinese Stir-fry


Kelly Rossiter Photo
Kelly Rossiter

Difficulty Level Easy

Tuesday is garbage day at our house, so that means the weekly fridge clean out meal happens Sunday or Monday. It was especially important this week, because I'll be away for a week so I don't want a lot stuff hanging around growing mold. It's a good habit to get into because with high food costs, uncertain economic times and the state of our landfills, you don't want to be wasting any food.

Because I write about food everyday, I've always got bits and pieces of different ingredients kicking around, as well as leftovers of the food I've already prepared. Soups, casseroles or stir-fries are a great way to use up food, especially vegetables. I usually put the contents of my vegetable crisper on the kitchen cupboard and decide which things would work best together and then get to it. This week I had mushrooms and cabbage left over from my Hot and Sour Soup, some organic ground beef left over from my Chinese Dan Dan Noodles, and some jalepenos from my Bean and Barley Salad.

You can use this list of ingredients as a guideline and use whatever you have on hand. If you want a vegetarian version, then cook an egg or two in a bit of oil in the bottom of your wok before you do anything else. When it's cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside. When the rest of the stir-fry is done, chop up the egg and add it to the rest. If you don't feel like Chinese tonight, then make something with Indian or Thai seasonings. The possibilities are endless. Serve this over rice or noodles.


1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 celery stalk, sliced thinly
1 jalepeno pepper, seeds removed, sliced thinly
1/2 lb organic ground beef
1 handful or so of broccoli florets
6 mushrooms, sliced thinly
1/2 cup savoy cabbage, sliced thinly
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
1 tbsp fermented black beans
juice of half a lemon
sesame oil for drizzling


  1. Heat the oil in a wok or a skillet. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 or 3 minutes, or until the garlic is golden. Add the beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally until there is no more pink in the meat. Drain any fat that has accumulated.
  2. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. If there isn't enough sauce, just add more of liquid ingredients until it is to your taste. Serve over rice or noodles and drizzle with sesame oil.
This recipe appears in: Chinese
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