Monday, July 23, 2012

UPGRADED Vegetarian Stir Fry; Thanks Ma!

I can't get enough of veggie stir fry. It's Always. Just because I'm livin' yooooung and wiiiillllld & freeeeee, doesn't mean I don't appreciate some consistency once in awhile.
This is upgraded from the last time I made stir fry because the Mom gave me some great tips, and she taught me something called "gou qian," which is a process that will get your stir fry to have a nice, thick texture to it. AKA: make it 100x better.

All the advice from the Mom accumulated to make a much more outstanding dish of stir fry. To the point where I willingly listened to the Mom's instructions, and am now publicly acknowledging how right it all is. That's how you know this is kind of a big deal.

Advice 1: On What to Fry First - Last 
The Mom gave me advice on what the best order of frying the veggies would be to avoid burning and maximize flavor:
1) oil + cong
2) add the garlic
3) add the onions (NOTE: white onions > red onions, in my humble opinion)
4) add the mushrooms (fry until nice and brown. MORE COLOR = MORE FLAVOR = maximized amount of happiness)
5) broccoli

Advice 2: On Making your Broccoli Firm but Soft and Yummy 
1) boil a pot of water (bad images of chickpeas BEGONE)
2) dump your cut broccoli into said pot
3) let water boil again
4) take out steaming broccoli, dump out hot water, and rinse with cold water immediately afterwards

Okay, WARNING: impending nerd alert.

But this process makes sense because you are manipulating the turgidity of the broccoli. By heating the broccoli you are denaturing enzymes and making it softer, but by immediately cleansing with cold water you are reversing the osmosis within the plant cells. Extra water means the solute concentration is higher inside the cells than outside, causing an inward flow of water into the plant cells, thereby expanding their cell walls and making them turgid (nice and hard, that's what she said) as opposed to limp.

WOOO applications of plant bio FTW. Except not, because plant bio is still the absolute worst of all things.

Advice 3: On how to Gou Qian 
1) add some salt and wei jing AFTER all your vegetables have been added and mix in
2)  then take a spoonful of starch and dissolve it in some water
3) pour solution into the skillet and continue mixing in
4) mix THOROUGHLY so you do not get weird starchy clumps

Okay, I am sorry, I'm sorry!!!! But, NERD ALERT PART 2:

Here we see that by adding salt, the water and juices of the veggies will start flowing out onto the skillet, because now the water concentration is much lower in the skillet than in the veggies. Utilizing this, we add the starch, which will combine with these yummy veggie juices to produce a nice, thick, almost syrupy mixture that adds a delicious texture to the vegetables. They don't get soggy, but just make the veggies thicker.

Over-all: 9.9!!

And now, to completely undo all the intelligent-science-chick points that I earned with a question: does anyone else have a really hard time spelling brocolli,  brocalli BRO-CC-OLI?? Or is it just me. Because my post is filled with these ridiculously annoying red squiggly lines of death right now. And no matter how many times I have to write BROCCOLI, I keep getting it wrong. It's demoralizing. It is almost making me not want to make broccoli ever again just to preserve what small shred of dignity and self-worth I have left.

Psych. This stir fry is toooo good to quit over a lack of elementary spelling skills. I'll just have to live with the fact that I can describe the biological processes behind my cooking but cannot spell the vegetable I am cooking in the first place.


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