Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fridge-Clearing Stir Fry with Bean Thread Noodles, Broccoli Stems and Edamame

Jeff and I love playing around with new recipes. Every week, we construct a menu out of them. But what happens to the motley assortment of leftovers in the veggie bin at the end of the week?

Stir fries.

Stir fries, generally with rice, but sometimes with noodles, crept into our repertoire during CSA season as a way to deal with the bok choy that was inevitably abandoned, wilting, in the crisper the night before we picked up our next share. Stir fries are awesome. A quick saute and some tasty sauce will perk up the saddest of produce. Add some rice, a fried egg and crunchy cashews and you have a meal.

Since it's March, we didn't have any fresh CSA produce to use up in this dish. Instead, it started with leftover broccoli stems. I've been a broccoli stem hater my whole life, but given my crusade to eliminate kitchen waste, I feel obligated to use them. Adding them to stir fries is the only use I've come up with (sometimes sliced, sometimes shredded). I also threw in some snap peas that were on their last legs, a roughly chopped onion, and some edamame and chard from the freezer. Anything you have on hand is really fine - it's less of a recipe than a formula. A formula for success!

Fridge-Clearing Stir Fry with Bean Thread Noodles, Broccoli Stems and Edamame

5 oz package bean thread noodles
3 tbsp canola oil, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 medium onion, chopped
2 broccoli stems, thinly sliced (you might want to peel any particularly woody bits as well)
3/4 c edamame
1 c snap peas (I like to cut them into bite-sized pieces)
3/4 c frozen chard, thawed
ginger-garlic sauce (see below)
1/2 c roasted cashews

Cook the bean thread noodles according to package directions - mine needed to be soaked in boiling water for ten minutes.

In a large wok, preheat 1 tbsp canola oil over high heat. Add the egg and stir fry, stirring constantly, until cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.

Add the remaining 2 tbsp oil to the pan. Add onion and broccoli stems and cook 2-3 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the snap peas, edamame and chard and cook another 2 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the noodles and add them to the stir fry (since they're extremely long, I usually cut into the pile a few times with some kitchen scissors before adding them to the pot - it makes it much easier to toss everything together). Add sauce and stir well to combine everything. Sprinkle on the cashews and serve.

Ginger-Garlic Sauce
From For the Love of Cooking.

1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp water (optional, if sauce is too thick)
2 tbsp sliced green onion

In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and soy sauce, whisking well until any lumps are gone. Add the honey, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and let thicken 3-4 minutes. Stir in green onion and serve over meat, mixed with rice or tossed with a stir fry.

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