Friday, June 26, 2015

Early Summer Stir Fry

Once the farmer’s market is in full swing, it’s hard to stick to recipes. It’s the time for improvising, for flinging together the best, freshest vegetables and herbs to make salads, toss with pasta, or stir fry in a hot wok. This week, I went with the wok and made a delicious, zesty stir fry with radishes, carrots, celery, edamame, scallions, and cilantro.

Normally, I don’t measure anything when I make a stir fry. I just chop up all the good stuff that I have, blast it in a wok, and drench it in what has become my go-to simple sauce: a combination of soy sauce, dry sherry, rice vinegar and Thai sweet chile sauce. I wanted to be able to tell you about this if it was good, however, so I paid a little more attention to the quantities. Of course, the measurements in the recipe below are more like guidelines, as are the actual vegetable ingredients.

I really recommend this combination of early summer vegetables (actually, in your part of the world, these might very well qualify as spring vegetables). The zingy, slightly bitter radishes become tender-crisp chunks when stir fried, as do the sweet carrots. The chewy, protein-packed edamame form a nice textural contrast and provide a pleasant, more neutral vegetable flavor. I kicked everything up with a whole teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, but you could use less for a milder dish, or you could use fresh chile peppers to taste if you happen to have some. I had garlic scapes, another early-season favorite, so I used those, but they are easily replaced with minced garlic cloves.

Since radishes tend toward strong-flavoredness in the bitter, astringent direction, I added a bit more sweetness to my sauce in the form of mirin, a sweet rice wine. I really liked the final balance of flavors, especially with the slightly floral addition from a bed of basmati rice. Brown rice would be just dandy, too. Really, whatever is in season is usually just dandy in a stir fry. Let your imagination run wild….and eat your veggies!

Radish and Edamame Stir Fry
Based on a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine

Trust me on the radishes here. They’re delicious! If you like radishes.

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
½ cup chopped garlic scapes or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups radishes, cut into ½ -inch chunks
1 ½ cups carrots, cut into ½-inch chunks
½ cup chopped celery
1 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen
1 cup finely chopped scallions
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons Thai hot chile sauce
1 cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped cashews

1. In a wok or a large skillet, heat the oil over high (or as high as you dare) heat. Add the garlic scapes and ginger and cook about 1 minute, stirring frequently. If you are using garlic cloves, just cook about 30 seconds. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook about 15 seconds.

2. Add the radishes, carrots, and celery. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and are beginning to brown. Stir in the edamame. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in the scallions.

3. Add the soy sauce, sherry, rice vinegar, mirin and sweet chile sauce. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and cashews. Cook just until the cilantro has wilted. Remove from heat. Serve with hot rice.

Makes about 4 servings.

One year ago: Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

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