Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Stir Fry 2008

Can you imagine winning 11 gold medals? Accomplishing what no athlete before you had done? Forever being known as the first athlete to reach that pinnacle of success? Wow. Talk about standing out in a crowd!

Tonight's culinary adventure was a crowd pleaser. Do you like Chinese food? Do you make it yourself or do you mostly order carry out? I don't know how authentic our homemade meal was, but it was meant to honor the wonderful cuisine of China. Deemed Olympic Stir Fry 2008 by my oldest child, it recognizes some of the cooking techniques of the 2008 Olympic Host Country.

I love Chinese food. All those different textures and tastes making friends with my taste buds. Prepping for the meal took the most time with lots of chopping, some marinading, methodical stir frying, and a final grand mix together with a sprinkling at the end. Whew. Just look at this gorgeous baby bok choy.

I love bok choy, especially the little baby variety. I’m sure it’s loaded with good for me vitamins, and look at how easy it is to chop up.

Don’t these green babies look terrific!

This pepper is from my garden. I just love stepping outside and picking what I need. It makes my tummy happy.

This stir fry was tummy pleasing good. I’ve been reading cookbooks and recipes all week long, and still couldn’t decide upon just one. So I did what I usually do, and you probably do this often as well, I came up with my own version and kept my fingers crossed. Tell me what you think of this.

Olympic Stir Fry 2008

Main Ingredients
3 lbs boneless, skinless chix breast, cubed into bite sized pieces
1 lb raw shrimp, medium sized
2 baby bok choy, rough chopped
1 green pepper, cut in 1” pieces
3 green onions, cut in 1” pieces
½ cup sliced mushrooms
3 “coins” of ginger
½ cup sliced almonds (I used slivers because it's what I had.)

Vegetable Oil For Stir Frying (I used canola; peanut would be great. Don't use olive.)

Marinade Ingredients:
3 teaspoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons Chinese Rice Wine (or dry sherry)

Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 cup chix broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
Couple shakes of white pepper
4 teaspoons Chinese Rice Wine (generous teaspoons)
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (I used tamari wheat free)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Glaze Ingredients:
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons chix broth (or water)


In a large bowl, combine the cubed chicken with the marinade ingredients. Set aside for about 20 minutes. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok on med high heat. Toss in the almonds and stirring constantly, toast them for about 20-30 seconds.

Be careful because they can go from being toasted to being burnt quickly. Remove them to a papertowel lined plate. (Optional – sprinkle with salt.) Next, add another 2-3 tablespoons of oil to the pan, and working in 2 batches, stir fry the chicken. You don’t rinse off the marinade. When chicken is golden brown, remove from the wok and place in a large bowl. Add more oil if needed, and stir fry the second batch of chicken. Remove when golden and add to the 1st batch of cooked chicken. Next, if needed add a dollop of oil to the wok, and stir fry the shrimp. Remove and place in a bowl as soon as they turn pink on both sides. Dump out any liquid in the wok. Now prepare to stir fry the ginger. In the drained wok, add another dollop of oil, and stir fry the ginger coins for about 1 minute. Remove and discard. In the gingery oil, add the bok choy and green onions all at once, and stir fry until slightly limp. Remove and place in another bowl. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir fry. Remove and place in bok choy bowl. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour into the wok. It will immediately boil up. Return all the cooked ingredients to the wok and toss in the sauce. In a small cup, combine the glaze ingredients and add to the wok.

The glaze thickens the sauce and gives the food a glorious sheen.

Serve immediately over rice, and sprinkle with the almonds. Prepare to make yummy sounds as you eat.

Couple things:

1. Notice the chicken and shrimp are not seasoned with salt and pepper. I was concerned that they would taste bland, but I shouldn't have worried. The sauce and all the flavors of the food, provide all the seasoning needed.

2. Prepping of the meat, shrimp, and veggies took me a good 45 minutes. It wasn’t hard, just time consuming.

3. Don’t be tempted to combine stir frying ingredients. The wok would get too full and everything would end up steaming. Have everything prepped before you begin. The stir frying goes fast. Be sure to have lots of bowls ready to place the stir fried food in.

4. I used almonds, but you could easily substitute cashews or peanuts.

My husband ate multiple helpings of this. My kids liked the shrimp the best, and had fun trying to use chop sticks! And, as usual, this was a gluten free all the way, baby.

Check out these blogs for some other great Chinese recipes. Steamy Kitchen and Rasa Malaysia. The women behind these blogs create and share awesome recipes ... I love their food!

I wonder what cuisine we will visit next? Germany? Greece? Great Britain? Any suggestions?



This looks terrific - stir fry is my all-time favorite meal to cook and eat. fabulous olympic dish!

OhioMom said...

Yummy! I am drooling over those pics :)

Cheryl said...

Our favorite Chinese Food Restaurant went out of business, and that looks good, I must make it!

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love Chinese food & stirfry is a big favorite in my house. Shrimp is a great addition to any dish. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

Rasa Malaysia said...

Thanks for linking to me. I am glad that you like my blog. :)

noble pig said...

Wow, what a tribute dish!

And no Ican't even imagine winning one quarter of a gold medal, unreal isn't it.

Linda said...

So that's what I've been doing wrong, I get in a rush and steam everything. Thanks for the lesson! B.t.w. I found rice wraps, but thanks for the offer:)

Jeena said...

What a delicious stir fry and healthy too, yum.

Deborah said...

I think anything I make at home is just as authentic as most of the restaurants where I live!! This looks great - a wonderful way to celebrate the Olympics!

Aggie said...

I looooove Chinese food. For some reason though I never cook it at home. I have to start...your stir fry looks so great! Nothing better than homegrown veggies!

Lulu Barbarian said...

Looks delicious! For some reason I've never combined meats in a stir fry, but it seems like a great idea. Mixing chicken and shrimp would be more economical than just using shrimp, and would round out the flavors. I'll definitely have to try this,

Thanks for your comment on my strapatsada post. I was wondering, what did your family call this egg-and-tomato scramble? Do you know an Italian name for it?

Paula said...

Good Morning Everyone!

Mediterranean Kiwi: I was pleased with how it turned out!

Ohiomom: It was hard not to nibble on the goodies as they came out of the wok.

Cheryl: I love getting carryout, but this was pretty darn good.

Perennial Gardener: My kids loved the shrimp in this more than anything else.

Rasa Malaysia: I've just got to try that chix and walnut dish you posted today. YUM!

Noble Pig: Hmmm ... I wonder how long the volleyball girls would fit in their skimpy bikinis if they ate this regularly!

Linda: Glad you found the wraps! It's tempting to dump it all in, but I've had better luck with the one by one method!

Jeena: I love stir fries ... with all the veggies, protein, and nuts!

Deborah: There is a large Asian population where I live, and the restaurant food is soooo good. I think this turned out really good and could compete with the restaurant fare!

Aggie: I'm the same way; we mostly get carryout. But this turned out so well that I'll be attempting more dishes at home!

Paula said...

Hi Lulu! Your message must have come in when I was typing my other response! I love using a combo of meats, I meant to add some pork to this as well, but thought I'd save it for another time.

Regarding the eggs, we simply called it "Uova Al Pomodoro" which loosely translates to "Eggs with Tomatoes". I absolutely love it!

Theresa said...

Looks terrific. I love chinese food. My family would love this, especially the shrimp!

Pam said...

YUM. What a delicious stir fry! The shrimp look so tasty and adding chicken too is a great idea. I can't wait to see what country you do next.

Grace said...

michael phelps could eat an entire batch of this in one sitting. frankly, so could i, but i wouldn't feel as good about it. :)

Kevin said...

That stir-fry with shrimp and all those vibrant greens looks really good!

Bridgett said...

I love all the fresh ingredients. I should have had that instead of the carb-heavy pasta tonight. I feel like a lump! My husband used to make stir fry for me when we were dating and I loved it. I wish he would make this!!

Jan said...

Looks and sounds fab, Paula. I'm sure all that chopping was worth it in the end. :-)

Esi said...

Looks great! I love that you're so into the Olympics. I am so needing my DVR to get through it, but getting more into it every day!

Paula said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Theresa: The addition of shrimp was a hit with my family!

Pam: I'm going to let my kids pick what I'll do next!

Grace: Isn't phenomenal how much food that kid can put away!

Kevin: The veggies looked so nice with the chix and shrimp!

Bridgett: Wow! How neat that your hubby cooked for you when you were dating! That alone makes him a keeper!

Jan: I definitely got in some chopping practice!

Esi: I homeschool my son, so it's great to see athletes representing countries that we've studied!

Ivy said...

Paula, thanks for visiting. Last night when I was reading Lulu's post, the title of your post struck me and I planned to visit as well. As you have read in my post my children love shrimps but have never combined them with chicken. Your stir fry sounds delicious but do not have a wok. Do you think it could work in a skillet?

Lore said...

What a yummy-looking stir fry! I would've asked for a refill as well :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

Your stir fry looks terrific. I enjoy making stir fry especially when shrimp are involved. The vegetables look for fresh; your photography work is amazing.

Lo said...

Stir fry is always a winner if you ask me!

This recipe looks fresh and delicious, Paula... just the thing for a busy weeknight!

Marjie said...

Paula, this is so pretty! But how did the food separatists in your house bear up under the strain of all food in one pot?

Dawn said...

I don't do much chinese cooking at home as my hubby is a bland-eater when it comes to that. I make for myself from time to time.
Your dish looks so good though, and it's healthy. I love shrimp in chinese cuisine. Mmm
Yes, try Greek cuisine--falafels. Mmmmm

Pam said...

Paula, I love baby bok choy. It is so sweet. And your green pepper is lovely, all fresh and crisp from your garden!

Cate said...

Sounds good! We make a General Tso's chicken at home that's really good, and a fried rice -- need to seek out more Chinese recipes to make.

Paula said...

Greetings all! Hope you are staying cool today. It was 104 here! Whew!

Ivy: You bet! I think you could would have great success making this in a skillet like the one you made your risotto in.

Lore: My hubby got all the extra.

Katherine: Thanks! These shrimp were fresh, and they tasted terrific!

Lo: I really like stir fry's. I could eat them every week!

Marjie: I was a good mom (aka accomodating mother) and spooned the food on their plates in separate catagories. They liked the shrimp more than anything and wanted seconds of it before eating the rest of their food! Nice try, guys! Oh, and did you see that I gave corn starch a try-out here? It worked great!

Dawn: My son also suggested Greece! He loves feta cheese, so I suspect he's got feta on his mind! Falafel is awesome, and I do have some garbanzo's. Hmmm ....

Pam: Thanks! I've a question about cilantro to run past you sometime soon. I've let my plants go to flower/seed. Um, do you know how to harvest the seeds?

Cate: Welcome! My hubby loves General Tso's chicken. Would love to see your recipe!

Manggy said...

Yes! All that's left is for Phelps to grow a beer gut and now us guys will finally breathe a sigh of relief that balance has been restored ;)

Lovely stir-fry you've made here! I'm glad the little ones liked it. Bok choy can be a tad bitter, even for me :)

Bellini Valli said...

I wish I could still step outside into my gardens and pick green peppers, tomatoes..etc. Mostly I take takeout when it comes to Chinese. I am always intimidated with making my own.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Paula, Great job on your stir fry! I always have problems with the pan I use, but after reading your post maybe I loaded it with to much food at one time and it was steamed and not the way I like the veggies at all.
So thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! I love, love baby bok choy when I can find it.

Paula said...

Happy weekend everyone!

Manggy: I'm convinced he's got like four stomachs or something! I get full just thinking about what he eats!

Bellini Valli: Chopping all those veggies gave me an appreciation for Chinese restaurant kitchen staffs!

Proud Italian: It's really tempting to throw in more at a time, but stir frying smaller batches and then combining at the end really makes a difference!

Candy: Thanks for stopping by! These baby bok's were very tender and sweet ... I loved them!