Vegan Stir Fry

Vegan Stir Fry

Smoked Tempeh and veggie stir fry

I seem to think stir fries were originally the domain of carnivores - it was a good way to quickly cook a meal.

But our vegan stir fries are one of Karen's favourite meals.

I'm not going to give a specific recipe, as you can stir anything you like.

Rather I will give a few basic guidelines and tips.

Basic stir fry ingredients

In the meal and pictures for this blog, I used a supermarket veggie pack, extra onion and garlic, tamari, coconut blossom sugar, black pepper and coconut oil.

For the 'meat' or protein bit I added some home smoked tempeh 'bacon' (Recipe coming up next week).

Ghastly as this is, I need to explain how a meat stir fry was made (but briefly I promise)!!
Heat the oil in your wok, stir fry the small strips or pieces till they are browned. Remove them and keep them aside. Add the veggies to the wok, sprinkle with whatever
sauce being used, stir fry till almost done, add back the meat and stir fry till all warmed through.

The difference with a vegan stir fry is the protein element does not have to be cooked first as it only needs to be heated through.

Great garlic grating tool!

So - some general tips -

For the liquid or sauce:

I like to use a mixture of Tamari, Water and Coconut Blossom sugar.

You can also use a sweet sherry to give the syrupy sweetness.

Veggies - spinach is great, but it wilts down to almost nothing, so use enough.

Veggies - If you use harder veggies like butternut cubes, pre-steam them for a short while first,
otherwise everything else will have turned to a mush by the time the butternut is cooked.

Veggies - if not using a pre-bought pack, chop your veggies relatively finely.

Veggies - Fresh or frozen peas, or corn, are great for flavour and colour.

Protein - There are numerous Fry's or Quorn "meat style" strips you can use. Alternatively smoked or plain tofu cubes, but whatever you use, take them out the fridge or freezer in advance so they warm through fairly quickly.

Garlic and Onion - Whatever else goes in, I always start off with a finely sliced onion and one large grated clove of garlic.

Oil - The original meat stir fry required high heat and lots of charring. Not necessary with a vegan stir fry, but yes some heat. I like to use coconut oil.

And most important - it's a STIR fry, so stir/toss with a large spatula continually. This ensures it heats/cooks through evenly and doesn't become a stew!

So - the basic concept:

1 - Warm the oil in the wok. Just to smoking point, and then reduce the heat.
2 - Add the onion and garlic and stir fry for a short while, without burning the garlic.
3 - Add in the veggies, harder ones first,
4 - Pour in the liquid or sauce of your choice.
5 - Continue STIR frying, adding more liquid or tamari if needed. You don't want it to dry out completely.
6 - When nearly done (probably only 10 mins or so) add in the protein, and continue to stir fry until heated through.
7 - Sprinkle in a pinch or two of cracked black pepper and mix in just before serving.

Another great idea is to  add in either some halved cherry tomatoes, or fresh herb such as coriander, right at the end.

Good luck!
And bon apetit.

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