After years of making stir fry, I finally found the ingredient that’s been missing. It’s probably one everybody else already knows, but I am excited to find it, so had to share. I stumbled upon it while making a gingerbread cake (Mom’s fall & winter fave, served warm with a dollop of cool whip for topping) for a family get-together the other night. The back of the molasses bottle had a suggested use for stir-fry.
We love our rice & chicken around here; have it once a week. When we lived in Korea, a girlfriend shared with me the “Korean secret” to sweet & sour from scratch, so that’s how I’ve done it every since. (Recipe found at the end of the post if you’re interested). But with the schezuan stir fry, I never felt confident enough out on my own. I have been buying the Green Giant bag with the sauce packet included, thrown in an extra bag of veggies to make it stretch, & spiced it up a bit with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, & brown sugar. I never figured out how they got that base sauce though. DUH!! MOLASSES! It’s dark, thick, & is what makes brown sugar brown – why didn’t I ever try that before? (In case you’ve never done this before, a fun trick to do with the kids is to “make” your own brown sugar by stirring in a little bit of molasses into a bowl of white sugar. The kids think it’s great, it’s fresh, soft, & makes do when you run out of brown sugar for those chocolate chip cookies.) Just keep in mind, it takes a little bit of molasses & a whole lot of stirring!)
So, now that we have the perfected recipe for our family, I share with you. It may not be right for your clan, but my group licked their platters clean tonight:) And I will never buy another bag of Green Giant overpriced stir-fry veggies again. Warning: I cook off the cuff. I never write down amounts, just go by taste. Sorry.
Schezuan Stir Fry Sauce
1/4 to 1/3 cup molasses, somewhere in there
about 2 Tbl. ginger
good shot of garlic salt (1/2 tsp?)
about 2 Tbl. soy sauce
2 or 3 Tbl. brown sugar (I like it sweeter than some might)
Throw these ingredients into the frying pan after browning up some chicken pieces & stir. Add two bags of your favorite variety of frozen stir-fry veggies. When the veggies are cooked, toss in about 1/4 cup of peanuts, stir, & serve over rice.
If you don’t have a good sweet & sour sauce recipe & have been buying it by the bottle, here’s a great one…
Sweet & Sour Sauce
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
2 Tbl. white sugar
2 Tbl. vinegar
a dash of red & yellow food coloring (otherwise it looks like someone had major sinus problems in your kitchen – NOT good!)
This is great to add to a skillet of browned chicken chunks along with: carrots, pineapple, green & red peppers, & onion. (Again, serve over rice.)