Daily Ideas

Wok-Seared Vegetables from Grace Young’s ‘Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge’

Wok-Seared Vegetables from Grace Young’s ‘Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge’

This recipe is a template for how to stir-fry vegetables with hard, medium-hard, and soft textures. “Hard” carrots are cut into 1/4-inch-thick julienne pieces so that they cook quickly. Blanching the “medium-hard” asparagus enables it to be stir-fried together with the shiitake mushrooms and “soft” cherry tomatoes. This is a dish I like to make in the spring when asparagus comes into season. I prefer using grape tomatoes because they have more flavor than regular tomatoes that time of the year. You can substitute button mushrooms for the shiitakes.

 

Ingredients:

 

12 ounces medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup julienned carrots
8 medium fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered (about 4 ounces)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

 

In a 2-quart saucepan bring 3 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring, 1 minute or until the asparagus is bright green and the water has almost returned to a boil. Drain the asparagus in a colander, shaking well to remove excess water. In a small bowl combine the rice wine, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.

 

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the shallot, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Add the asparagus, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry 1 minute or until the mushrooms begin to wilt. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle on the sugar and salt, swirl the rice wine mixture into the wok, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

 

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