Fridge Raider Uni Stir Fry
So not exactly what I set this blog up for but going to University is definitely an adventure and at times can be a survival challenge! This one is for Liam
This isn't so much a recipe as a cooking system. When you're on a budget you need to go with what you have available and quite often have to keep the ingredients basic. That doesn't mean it has to be boring or not nutritious however. The rigours you put your body through engaging in sports & filling your head with knowledge (yeah okay and the endless drinking and all nighters) need to be fueled just as your body requires on an expedition.
Some of the best types of recipes to look at are those that come traditionally from poorer rural backgrounds such as Far Eastern stir fries, Indo-Asiasn Curries, Mediterranean pasta dishes and European stews. If you have to use more than 2 pots or a casserole dish you're over complicating things and losing out on valuable drinking time. Save the souffles for post-grad level. Once you know the basic structure you can start experimenting with different ingredients :-)
Here is a chicken stir fry I made up this evening. After a rummage in the fridge I had some veggies and chicken. Note the Tupperware with some left over broccoli, great for saving on wastage. Handy things to have in your cupboard are Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce and Worcester.
Keep things organised and clean.
Start by getting some rice on. Just like you would when camping on can put the rice in whilst the water is cold so it starts soaking up water but what I like to do is have a cuppa. Cooking is thirsty work! I then use the spare boiling water for the pan to save heat efficiency.
With rice as with pasta a rough guide for portion control is to allow a generous handful per person or the dry ingredient.
If you put a small lug of oil in the water and swoosh the rice around with a wooden spoon it helps to stop the rice sticking together. Stir occasionally, cover with a lid and just let simmer. You're probably looking at 20-25mins with easy cook rice
Put a good bit of oil in the pan and bring it up to heat. To save time and fuss garlic puree in a tube is a good cheat. When it starts to brown in the oil add the chicken. It's important to chop everything roughly the same size to cook at the same speed. Brown the chicken off then just to make sure chop into the biggest bit and if it looks pink at all cook for longer. Note I'm using a different knife, bringing the one used to chop raw chicken into the cooked food is an easy way to give yourself food poisoning!
I haven't got loads of space in my pan so once the chicken is cooked through I transfer to a bowl so that I can focus on the veggies. Start with the harder stuff such as broccoli and pak choi. In addition to frying you can put a lid on it and that semi steams it too. A dash of water and soy helps with this.. Don't over do it, you don't want mush!
Softer vegetables such as peppers only need a couple of minutes then you can reintroduce the chicken to get the favours and heat in there. Add a dash more soy, season with salt & pepper, a dash of fish sauce and a dash of Worcester sauce (that's a DASH Team 2, lest we forget cabbage rice gate!)
Have a nibble on a few grains of rice to see if its ready. If so, put it through a sieve, shaking around a bit to make it nice and fluffy. Divide between the bowls/plates. Remember you shouldn't reheat rice as it makes for a cracking petrie dish for bacteria
Serve up and enjoy!
I have a habit of finding adventure just about anywhere. Here I share some of them with you dear readers...