Lucie Loves... Food // [Review] A home-cooked veg stir fry to celebrate Chinese New Year, using Very Lazy condiments
The Funny thing is, I was at work just the other day and I asked the other Chefs with me, what kitchen job, if they had to choose, would they choose to do for eternity? I was peeling, what we call donkey Carrots (just big Carrots, use your imagination!)
I put forward that job, as it's reasonably rhythmic and calming – no jamming your brain with thought processes – and as far as mind numbing kitchen jobs go, it ain't that bad!
My colleague, antagonistically suggested “peeling garlic”, which was followed by laughter and 100% agreement that was a terrible fate, (if you don't believe me, give peeling 2 or 3 KG of Garlic a go and then we’ll talk!)
And then BOOM! the good people at Very Lazy sent me some very lazy garlic, ginger, lemon grass and chilli. So what did I do with it?
I wanted vegetables. I'd just spent 6-days cooking meat and various other products that hadn’t left me feeling light and energised. I wanted vegetables, lots of vegetables! And, with Chinese New Year on the horizon and these “Asian” flavours, at my disposal, I was going to knock myself up a post-gym veg stir fry. Yum!
So I get back from the shop, arriving home with a bounty of vegetables; button mushrooms, red cabbage, spring onion, cucumber, runner beans and coriander. I was looking for texture, colour, sweet and umami. I went to work.
How to cook an easy post-gym vegetable stir fry
I began, as is usual, at the beginning, cutting everything into a fine julienne, fine and small. When stir frying, we want the components small, we need them to cook, quickly, but still remain some bite, too big and we're stewing our veg!
In a matter of minutes, with my wok really really hot, I throw in a spoon of coconut oil, and it smokes, in seconds. Straight after in go the spring onions, they can cook the longest and produce great sweetness.Then the cabbage, then the mushroom, finishing with the green veg.
I followed this with my Very Lazy condiments, which I cooked out for a couple of minutes only. I went for the Very Lazy Chilli, Very Lazy Garlic, Very Lazy Ginger and a smidge of fragrant Very Lazy Lemon Grass, a spoon of each, except lemon grass, maybe half a spoon.
I seasoned with some soy, a touch of fish sauce, to deepen and enrich the the sauced bring some umami (a deep savoury flavour). I had a cauliflower in the fridge so I pulled a couple of the leaf spines, took of the leaf and very finely sliced the spine, I added this in, right at the end – think of it as a bamboo shoot replacement, fresh and crunchy.
I then pulled the pan off the heat, added cucumbers for a touch of freshness and the coriander then served it straight on the plate, dinner ready.
in hindsight, I could (and should) have added some toasted seeds or nuts to add another texture and savoury mouth-feel. But I didn’t, i was hungry.
The only thing that the Very Lazy shortcut takes from you is that magical moment when you’re peeling Ginger and the air is scented with its zest – or the pungency of freshly smashed garlic. But, we live in crazy times, and time is of the essence and perhaps the essence of medicinal roots and fragrant bulbs just aren’t as vital...
That said, I’m no stranger to jarred up ginger or garlic. When cooking at home, sometimes you just need these little flavour bombs to pull your dinner from obscurity, and these little Very Lazy gems did just that. A good quality of ingredient, well looked after.
Will it turn you in to a culinary wizard? No. Will give you delightful flavours which you can keep fresh and refrigerated till next time? Hell yes!
Words and photos ~ Jody McConnachie
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. We were sent the Very Lazy condiments free of charge, for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions stated are our own.