This gorgeous broccoli from Rainbow Hill Farm inspired our stir fry dinner tonight. My apologies to my mother but…I love broccoli. love. it. (why am I apologizing? Because this wonderful woman spent all of my childhood leaving a section of the broccoli hamburger casserole broccoli free just for me. She’s great like that!)
Any dish around here with even a hint of an Asian theme gets cooked by Neal. He makes a mean stir fry (and curry! and fried rice!)
It’s a pretty simple dish to whip up:
Stir fry whatever fresh veggies you have:
Remove those from the wok and cook your protein. We used chicken tonight but anything goes. This is the place to toss in some garlic, ginger and chili pepper
Now, this is the important part…every good stir fry needs a good sauce. We’ve discovered that a slurry helps you get the best sauce. A slurry is a method for using starch to thicken the sauce. Any starch will thicken a sauce but it has to be added correctly or you just get a clumpy, lumpy mess! Whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch and about 3 ounces water (or broth) together and add 1 tablespoon fish sauce for flavor.
Add your slurry to the cooked chicken and toss to coat.
Add your veggies back in and stir to combine! Serve over brown rice.
Now, what about that Umami?? Umami is basically the taste sensation of naturally occurring monosodium glutamate. It’s often called the 5th taste (the others being salt, sweet, sour, and bitter). Originally discovered in Japan in 1908, a Japanese chemist found that the brown alga kombu was a rich source of monosodium glutamate and contributed a distinct taste that he named Umami. It didn’t take long for manufacturers to begin to synthesize the chemical and make MSG available to try to impart this flavor easily. We all know the chemical is never as good as the real thing so foods naturally high in Umami are great to use to add that extra richness to your meal. Fish oil is high on the Umami list as are other fermented foods. Want to learn more? Check out the Umami Information Center