Or semi-perfect, if you don’t want rice noodles in your diet. Feel free to leave them out of the recipe. I often make stir-fries without them.
I didn’t intend to write a post about a stir-fry. I was simply minding my own business, making myself some lunch. But it turned out so pretty and delicious, that I decided to replicate the dish the next day and jot down the exact recipe.
I love to make a stir-fry for lunch when I’m home alone (I work from home), but these dishes don’t find their way to my blog. One reason is that I make them up as I go along. I usually include chicken breast, and add to it whatever vegetables I happen to have in the house, and seasonings that I think will go well with it. Each stir-fry is a variation on a theme.
I tend to make enough just for myself, or maybe myself and my daughter or one guest. When you prepare a stir-fry for one person, it’s quick and easy. For two, it’s still not too bad. But for larger groups of people, it starts to be a lot of work, and I’d rather prepare something else. Think about it, when you make a pot roast, the work is pretty much the same whether it’s a small roast or a large one. But with a stir-fry the work increases dramatically since you have to chop up lots more ingredients.
If you’re less experienced with stir fries, then prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking. I tend to prepare the first few ingredients I’ll need and then cut or grate the next thing I need while I stir-fry. This makes it quick, but hectic.
Rice noodles don’t take long to cook, and the exact time will depend on the size and brand of noodle you buy. Since you’re cooking them while you’re stir frying, remember to check for readiness from time to time by taking out a noodle, letting it cool for a few seconds, and biting into it to see if it’s done (please don’t throw a noodle at the wall. Why do people do that?).
Arrowroot is the original thickener used in Chinese cooking. It’s often replaced by cornstarch in the West. Cornstarch does the trick just as well, but I prefer to use organic arrowroot since any corn product is very likely to be produced from GMO (genetically modified organism) corn. And corn is a grain too, not a vegetable, so not paleo, if we’re getting technical.
Stir-frying is more convenient in a wok, but the lack of a wok shouldn’t stop you. I need a new wok, so I actually made this particular stir fry in a large, deep pan.
Writing up this recipe, I see how many stages there are and it looks daunting. In actual fact, once you’re used to stir-frying, it isn’t complicated and doesn’t take long at all (unless you’re making a large quantity). Yes, lots of steps, but they are simple steps and each one takes a short amount of time.
Perfect Paleo Stir-Fry
Makes 1 large portion
2 tbsp. of coconut oil
2 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)
1 inch ginger (finely grated)
2-3 green (spring) onions (sliced into long slivers)
1 carrot (coarsely grated)
1 green pepper (sliced into thin, long pieces)
Rice noodles (see picture for amount)
1 chicken breast (cut against the grain into bite-sized pieces)
1 heaping tsp. arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. homemade bone broth
1 tbsp. organic, gluten-free soy sauce
A few drops of toasted sesame oil
- Put a pot with a bit of salt to boil and make sure your rice noodles are handy. Later, when the water has boiled, pop the noodles in and give it a stir.
- Heat 2 tbsp. coconut oil in a wok or large pan.
- Add the sliced garlic and grated ginger to the wok and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the green onion and stir-fry 1 more minute.
- Add the carrot and stir-fry about a minute. You want it just barely cooked, not limp and soggy. Remove the vegetable mixture to a bowl and set aside.
- Reminder to put the noodles in the boiling water.
- Add another 2/3 tbsp. of coconut oil to the wok.
- When the oil is very hot, add the green pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add just a few drops of soy sauce, reduce the heat and cover for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. This is just to make sure the green peppers soften enough. It’s ready when it is a bit soft but still has some crunch. Add them to the other veggies and set aside.
- Heat a ½ tbsp. of coconut oil, then add the pieces of chicken breast and stir-fry. I found that the chicken got some color from the previous ingredients that were in the wok. If this doesn’t happen, add a tiny amount of soy sauce. Stir-fry until just done and no more. To check, I like to cut open the biggest piece to make sure it isn’t pink in the middle.
- While stir-frying the chicken, mix 1 tsp. of arrowroot in ¼ cup of cold water.
- Add all the ingredients back into the wok and mix. (Reminder: If the noodles are ready then strain them and set them aside.) Back to our wok. Push all the ingredients to the sides of the wok (or pan).
- Add the broth, soy sauce, and sesame oil to the middle of the wok (on medium heat) and stir.
- Give the arrowroot and water a stir to make sure it’s well mixed, then add it to the sauce ingredients and stir. You’ll immediately see it thicken – like magic! When it’s at the thickness you like, push the vegetables and chicken back into the middle. Add the noodles and mix to coat with the sauce. That’s it! You’re done.
Love stir-fries? Try these as well!