++1 re stir fry being *FAST* - you *MUST* have everything pre-prepped or it goes soggy.
The reason a wok is superior is that the heat rises up around the sides of the pan, so it gets *very* hot underneath, which is why you have to keep tossing the ingredients. With the sides hot as well it cooks all the way round so it's important to spread the ingredients around and up the sides, not leave them in a soggy heap in the bottom.
I make a Thai-style Green Ginger Curry that packs a punch.
Thai Green Ginger Curry
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 bunch shallots/spring onions; cut the hard stalks into pieces 1cm long, the hollow green stalks into pieces 3-6cm long
1 small bunch of bok choy or baby bok choy, about 3 bulbs; cut the very end off the bulb and break all the leaves off, then separate the fleshy part of the leaves from the green leaf. I chop the end and the middle up and add it in also, but YMMV
4 chicken thigh fillets, or two breasts (substitute mushrooms or bean curd for the vegan version) [NB: Can also be made with fish
if you have it.]
1 knob of ginger, approx a man's thumb, peeled and thinly sliced or coarsely grated, roughly three heaped tbspns. Opt for more rather than less.
3 tbspns safflower oil (or rice bran oil, takes higher heat)
1 bunch coriander/cilantro coarsely chopped to garnish at end
1 green lime or preserved lime leaves. Grate the lime rind and add to sauce, or add a tbsn of leaves after bok choy. Juice the lime and add with coriander at end just before serving. Decent squirt of bottled lime juice can substitute.
1 tbspn Oyster
2 tbspns Thai fish
1 tbspn prawn paste
1 tspn Turmeric
1 medium red chili, finely sliced, or 2 tbspns Sweet Chili Sauce (or the non-sweet version if you have it).
1 tbspn ground lemongrass
[Chilli heat varies, so you can use milder green chillies, or add axtra red chillies, or jalapenos or whatever suits your taste. I like it mild, hence the small qty of chilli. If you like chilli it's great to add a finely sliced small red chilli as a garnish before serving, adds that dash of colour, and heat.
I don't eat capsicum/bell peppers, but by all means add them if you do. The red especially adds a splash of colour.
And julienned carrots are a good alternative for a splash of colour. I sometimes cut carrots into 5cm rounds, then halve and slice the halves into 2mm slices, which are the right size for a fork to pick up. You can also add bamboo shoots and/or water chestnuts, depending on what you have in the pantry. I also use home dried chillis, as they pack better and last longer.]
Prep all the ingredients into small bowls. This is time consuming and takes up a lot of bench space, but it's OK to stack them on top of each other in order of use.
I generally put the sauce ingredients into a bowl with the ginger and lime rind and marinate the meat or bean curd for a half hour before cooking to infuse the flavours.
Starting with a hot and smoking wok (you can buy flat-bottomed woks now that work
much better on a normal stove
, so you don't need a special wok-burner and round-bottomed wok).
Add the oil and as soon as it starts to smoke add the onion, toss to cover in the oil then add the marinated meat/curd and toss. Once coloured a bit add the fleshy ends of the bok choy, then add the solid stalks of the shallots and toss a few times.
If the sauce is drying, add a splash of water, but only a splash so it steams and doesn't go soggy. Just enough to stop the igredients sticking to the base.
Add the leaves off the bok choy and sweat for a minute or so, once they go glossy, toss, then add the shallot stems and sweat in turn, then toss again and finally add the chopped coriander, toss, and serve immediately.
it goes well with steamed jasmine rice or egg noodles, or even rice vermicelli if that's all you have.
Use rice/noodles as an extender in order to feed more people. The above qty feeds three without rice and six with.
Experiment..!! And enjoy.