This one ain't for the dudes even though stir fry lends itself well to dude based cooking. It's all high heat and brute force, which is pretty much how dudes grill so you'd think it's be adaptable. For whatever reason, it isn't. I think it's the way you have to constantly stir and the short cooking bursts for each ingredient. Seems to defy dudeness. It's important to point out that I'm not using "dude" and "man" as synonyms. Not all men are dudes, and dude is, in my vernacular, gender free.
This is the first recipe I ever cooked. I've been making it for years.
Context...I'd gone on what was supposed to be a 4 mile hike early in the morning. As I finally get my fat ass into shape, I find that I extend hikes. Lumbering along on a dirt trail gets good to me. The extra two miles I thought were going to be pretty flat. Nope. Gained about 700 feet in the first mile and gave it back in the last mile of the extended loop. That's what I get for not using topo maps. I know there are those of you out there that workout regularly and/or jog every day or whatever. A six mile hike with what amounts to a modest elevation gain sounds like what you do on your down days. I hate you. Even though I aspire to be you. It's confusing.
By the time I got home I had moved past hungry, blown through hangry, and was in that primal place of gimme some goddamn calories before I hurt someone. Even though I was so played out I didn't have enough energy to hurt anything. So, really, I was just on the verge of a tantrum but it sounds more macho to have it carry a threat of violence. The more stuff I write the more I learn I have ALOT of issues.
I wanted something relatively fast and relatively light. I didn't want to undo the good calorie burn I'd gotten by going batshit with something crazy, stupid fatty and caloric, but I wanted to feel full. I don't get weird about fat in cooking. Fat adds flavor and provides a lot of goodness in a rounded nutrition program. I think we've gone sorta nuts on the anti-fat thing, even though the impetus is good. If you look at most processed foods the fat levels in them are astonishingly high. That seems like fat worth avoiding. But, I don't freak out about trying to minimize the use of oil or butter or deciding peanuts have too much fat vs. almonds or any crap like that.
Stir fry seemed like a good idea.
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp ginger, grated
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For the Stir Fry
3 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1lb ground turkey
2 tbsp ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red thai chile, minced
1 red onion, sliced
1 carrot, diced or julienned
2 stalks bok choy, white parts diced, green parts rough chopped
2 green onions, chopped, white and light green parts reserved together, dark green parts set aside
½ can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
¼ cup chicken stock
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp honey
¼ tsp cornstarch, dissolved in tbsp of water
1 tbsp sambal olek
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup peanuts, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
A note on the ground turkey. Seems like most folks who use ground turkey go for the 99% fat free version. That's cool if that's you're thing. Just be careful as it has less flavor and it dries out really easily. I find that when I'm cooking with it I tend to have to add more oil so I think it's kind of a wash. This recipe works fine with either the 99% or the more flavorful 93% fat-free version. Do whatever works for you.
First off prepare the marinade and get the meat a-flavoring. Put the turkey, and all marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix together well with your hands. Seriously, they're the best utensils you have in the kitchen. Cowboy up and get them dirty. All using your hands for something like this means is that you want to wash them well before handling anything else. Also, it's fun. Like the way it was fun to play in mud before your mom would come out and yell it you kinda fun. So, mix it up really well. There shouldn't be any liquid standing in the bottom of the bowl. You want everything well folded into the meat. Put in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
This is a stir fry and you cook it fast so prep your ingredients. If you plan to serve over rice, you should get that started (you should start the stir fry at the same time you pull the rice off the heat). Put the garlic, ginger, and chile peppers in a bowl together. The carrots, red onion, bok choy stalks go together in another bowl. The green onion white and light green parts set aside. All other ingredients hanging out nearby. If you're more together than I am, you'll pre-mix the liquid ingredients (soy sauce, stock, vinegar, lime juiced, honey) by whisking them together in a small bowl.
Put a wok or a high sided pan over medium-high heat (skewing toward the high side) and let it get very hot. Add the canola and sesame oils and let them heat for about 15 seconds. Add the meat. Hit it with some salt and pepper, something you'll repeat with each layer you add throughout the stir fry. If you're using regular soy sauce, go very light on the salt or leave it out entirely until you taste it at the end. If using reduced sodium soy sauce, you can add salt more freely but taste throughout so it doesn't get away from you. Separate the meat and work it with a spatula or wooden spoon and keep it moving around the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the garlic, ginger, and chile pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion, carrot and bok choy stalks and stir well. Let them go 2-3 minutes, stirring all the while. Add the green onion pale parts and cook for a minute.
Stir in the soy sauce, stock, vinegar, honey and lime juice and stir well so everything is coated. Add the cornstarch and cook for 1 minute so the sauce begins to thicken. Add in the sambal olek and the green parts of the green onion and stir well, cooking for another minute.
Pull off the heat and plate. Sprinkle each plate with a smattering of chopped peanuts and cilantro and serve.
I did this with rice. It's nice. It's light and the sauce isn't too heavy or killing you with umami (if you want something thicker either add in at the same time you add the other liquid ingredients, some black bean sauce or just classic, thick stir fry sauce). You get a little bit of zing from the chile and the sambas olek, and a little acidic brightness from the vinegar and lime juice. You'll feel sated after eating it but within an hour or so you're ready to go again and not still weighted down by a ton of food.
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