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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Eat. Brew. Cook.: Learn how to make: Stir-Fry

You know you’re really cooking when you set the fire alarm off in your apartment building. I wish this was a metaphor, but, sadly, it’s not. However, I did learn a very important lesson about cooking on campus! If you’re going to be frying things at high temperature, it’s generally a good idea to turn on the ventilation fan and possibly crack a window. Whoops.

Since the unfortunate incident, I’ve avoided frying foods that require a lot of oil and create smoke; somehow, I just don’t think the Fire Marshall would be quite as amused the second time. This is why I’m making stir-fry for all of you: it’s easy, low on smoke and generally amazing.

My favorite thing about stir-fry is that you can put anything in it. Really, almost any vegetables, citrus fruit or sauce you like will taste good. Depending on my mood, I’ll usually make it one of two ways. The way I started making it when I first created the recipe last year was with chicken, fried egg, baby spinach, tomatoes and onions, seasoned with chili and cayenne pepper and served over brown rice. I devised this recipe when I gave up Thai fried rice because I wanted to avoid feeling deprived. While it is nowhere near as good as fried rice, it has got great flavor and doesn’t sit too heavy in my stomach or make me feel like I need to run on a treadmill for a solid week straight.

This semester, I’ve been on even more of a health kick now that I’m cooking for myself, so this stir-fry consists of shrimp, pineapple, sugar snap peas, red peppers and water chestnuts. I’ve also been using one tablespoon of chili oil, firstly because chili oil is only 35 calories, but secondly because I am head over heels for hot, spicy food.

Keep in mind that the recipes above are just my own personal preferences.  Pick out a mix of chopped veggies from the salad bar at the SAC or Kelly Dining, some pre-cooked meat or tofu and whatever else strikes your fancy (although I wouldn’t recommend cheese or anything that can melt). If you are using shrimp, regular-sized frozen shrimp works well also.

1. Once you’ve picked your ingredients, pour oil into a frying pan or wok and let heat over a high setting for a few minutes.

2. When the oil is heated, add pre-cooked or frozen protein. If pre-cooked, stir-fry for a minute and 30 seconds; if frozen, allow three minutes of cooking time.

3. Add vegetables/fruits to the mixture. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of water or chicken broth. Stir-fry for one minute and 30 seconds. If desired, add an additional ½ tablespoon of oil.

4.  Add any spices or sauces desired. Continue stir-frying for one additional minute.

5.  Serve atop cooked rice or noodles. Salt and pepper to taste.

And there you have it, folks. Get creative, stay hungry and keep reading.

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