Snowed In With A Chinese Five Spice Veggie Stir Fry

So, Sunday the plumbers came and put in our new water heater. We were so excited to have hot water, to finally wash dishes that were stack­ing up, to finally shower. Unfortunately we’d had to wait. For what­ever rea­son our new water heater was wired incor­rectly and as a result had no power. It would be another day before we had hot water and know the won­ders of said dish wash­ing and show­er­ing. Since we were still snowed in (we live on a dead end street with a siz­able hill that doesn’t get plowed) and water­less din­ner needed to be easy and made with ingre­di­ents we had on hand. Earlier Sunday I had been read­ing the most recent Cook’s Illustrated in which there was men­tion of a broc­coli stir fry. We didn’t have all the ingre­di­ents for it and not near enough fresh broc­coli, but it sparked an idea for what turned into a deli­cious Asian-inspired dinner.

The orig­i­nal recipe was just broc­coli but like I said, we didn’t have enough of it but we did have mush­rooms and car­rots and some baked tofu. After weeks of heavy food through the hol­i­days and baked goods just for the sake of it being win­ter, a nice healthy dish of veg­eta­bles and healthy, low-fat pro­tein sounded really good. We were going to just have rice with the stir fry, but I remem­bered that one of the things we had lay­ing around the kitchen was half a pound of whole wheat egg noo­dles from our CSA. Now, I know that these aren’t nec­es­sar­ily tra­di­tional Asian fare, but, like I said, we were snowed in and this was an Asian inspired meal, plus, I love Asian noo­dle dishes!

There’s just enough heat from the cayenne and Sriracha to have a slight burn, which was nice. You can adjust this to your taste by using more or less cayenne. The orig­i­nal recipe called for a minced whole clove of gar­lic, but we had just run out mak­ing break­fast the pre­vi­ous day so I used the gar­lic pow­der. You can (and should) sub­sti­tute a whole clove of gar­lic for the gar­lic pow­der. Our pantry is not nor­mally this bare, but with the weather the way it was, we just hadn’t been able to restock any­thing. Trust me that has been taken care of now as I have some other deli­cious meals planned for the week. For now, enjoy this quick (seri­ously, 20 min­utes) and easy meal.

Chinese Five Spice Veggie Stir-Fry
Serves 4, Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

1/4 cup chicken or veg­etable broth
3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. Sriracha (Asian Chili-garlic sauce)
1/8 tsp. Chinese five-spice pow­der
1 tsp. corn starch
1/8 tsp. gar­lic pow­der
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pep­per
Tbsp. veg­etable oil, divided
1/2 lb. mush­rooms, cut into quarter-inch slices
1/2 lb. broc­coli flo­rets, chopped in half-inch pieces
1/4 tsp sugar
2 car­rots, juli­enned
1/2 lb. tofu, cut into half-inch cubes
1/2 lb. udon or egg noo­dles, cooked per package’s direc­tions
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Whisk broth, hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, five-spice and corn starch together in a small bowl. In another small bowl, com­bine 1 tsp. veg­etable oil, gar­lic pow­der and cayenne pep­per, stir­ring well

Heat remain­ing cayenne-garlic oil in a wok or large non-stick skil­let over medium high heat until just begin­ning to smoke. Add mush­rooms and broc­coli and sprin­kle with sugar. Cook, stir­ring fre­quently, for 7 – 8 min­utes. Add car­rots and tofu and cook for 3 more min­utes until the car­rots soften.

Add broth mix­ture and cook for 1 min­utes, stir­ring to coat veg­eta­bles well. Add the cooked noo­dles and stir to coat.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

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  1. Posted February 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    hey ben, this one is win­ner — easy, healthy, full of fla­vor.
    funny how we both used our snowed-in time to make dishes with broc­coli.
    even with the weather incon­ve­niences, it was nice to have things shut down for a cou­ple of days, and a good oppor­tu­nity to use up stuff in the pantry.

    • Posted February 2, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      i was just glad to have stuff for a decent meal!

  2. Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks for show­ing how to make this lovely dish. It looks very deli­cious. Good post.

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