Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wok and Roll: Veggie Stir Fry

Do you remember the first time you ever cooked with a wok and how fun it was?

I got to rediscover that fun today when I used a wok cooking over a live fire on the Big Green Egg for my first time. I stir fried some vegetables to go with the Szechuan sweet & sour chicken that I grilled.

Vegetable Stir Fry
Source: Nibble Me This

1-2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 ea onion, sliced lengthwise
4 ea mini sweet bell peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise
1/3 pound sugar snap peas (I wanted snow peas, but used what I had)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 ea dried red chili pepper, crushed
1/2 Tbsp safflower oil
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Marinate vegetables in the rice wine vinegar for 15 minutes. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce and Sriracha sauce and set aside. Whisk the corn starch and water together.

Preheat wok on a 350f grill. Then add the safflower and sesame oils. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the sugar snap peas and stir fry for 1 minute, continuously tossing to coat in the oil. Drain the vinegar, add the other veggies and stir fry for another minute.

Add the soy mixture and cook for another minute. Add the corn starch slurry as needed to thicken the sauce and cook for one more minute.

Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

So the grilled Szechuan sweet and sour chicken must be hard, right? Nope, it was as easy as can be and only had two ingredients: chicken and Lawry's Szechuan Sweet & Sour Chicken marinade. [Standard Review Disclaimer]

The marinade is in McCormick's 2010 GrillMates line up and was part of the free sample package that they sent me to try out.

I simply marinated the chicken breasts in the sauce for 1 hour and then grilled it at a grill temp 350-375f (on the Big Green Egg on a raised grid) for 20 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.

My quick impressions:
  • Great taste.
  • I was worried the marinade might burn on the grill but it did not.While this product boasts a 30 minute marinade time (and it would be good after that), I'd recommend going 1-2 hours for maximum effect.
  • This would go GREAT on grilled wings.
  • I like that the ingredient list does not read like the periodic table of elements.
Usually grilled chicken defaults to something slathered with bbq sauce or maybe a southwestern approach. This is a fun and easy departure from the "same old, same old" grilled chicken for the back yard cook.

I have no problem recommending this marinade to liven up your summer grilling. Look for it in your grocery store, it should be there soon, if not already there.

The folks at McCormick's are going to give one lucky NMT reader this same sampler pack.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming post on Friday for the details.