Formula Cooking: Stir-Fry


I love the idea of what I call formula cooking.  To me that means less recipe (add exactly these items in these proportions) and more options (add one of these, and two of those).  I am working on a cookbook based on this concept.  Let me show you what I mean.


This formula is for two, but double or triple as you need to serve your family or guests.  For a chicken, beef or shrimp stir-fry, here is what you need:

1/2 pound of thinly sliced stir-fry beef,  thinly sliced chicken or shrimp – you choose your preference

1 package of stir-fry vegetables in the produce section of your local grocery store.  If you don’t like the mix then choose three of the following:  carrots, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms, onions, drained small can of bamboo shoots, drained small can of sliced water chestnuts, sprouts or asparagus.

2 cups freshly cooked rice (I use Uncle Bens)

vegetable oil

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

4 1/2 tsps hoison sauce

4 1/2 tsps oyster sauce

1/3 cup chicken or beef broth

1 Tblspn cornstarch

5 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce


In a stir fry or large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil.  Add your any vegetables that are firm and will take longer to cook.  For the list above, start with carrots.  Cook on medium for about 5 minutes or until your carrots begin to soften. Add any other veggies that may need more time, like onions and mushrooms.  Cook about 3 minutes.  Then add any other veggies.  Make sure all are al dente or soft enough to eat.


Remove veggies from pan and add a little more oil, if needed.  Add your meat and cook until done.

In a bowl, combine the broth, sesame oil,  hoison sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, and soy sauce.  Whisk until the cornstarch is broken up and the ingredients ar well mixed.


Add your vegetables back to than with the meat and add the sauce.  Stir and mix the veggies, meat and sauce.  Let the sauces boil and thicken, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve your stir-fry over rice.  You can add a salad on the side, if you wish, but this dish already provides protein, starch and vegetables in one.  Enjoy!


Bonus Info:  This is a great way to use leftovers. Chicken breasts, steak, or leftover veggies can be easily disguised in a new dish!

If you want to make exactly the dish I made,  I used stir-fry beef, 1 package of stir-fry medley, 1/3 cup diced onion, and 3 cups rice.  That was our meal!

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