Of course we all know that it is both healthier and cheaper to eat at home then eat out but when you are in the mood for certain foods it can be a bit temptation to go out. A nice lasagna just doesn’t taste right when what you were in the mood for was a nice Chinese meal. But the thing is when you are busy it isn’t always convenient to look up recipes and try to make an exotic meal for the first time. So I wanted to share a little trick with you. The key is learning at least one sauce recipe by heart and then when it comes to mastering a Chinese meal you will impress even the pickiest of eaters. This sauce that I am going to share with you is a typical Chinese Brown sauce. It is easy to make and the great thing about this sauce is that it can be added with any sauteed meat and/or veggies. Here is how I choose to serve it tonight.
Stir-fried Veggies over noodles in a brown sauce
1/2 cup of zucchini julienned
1/2 cup of yellow squash julienned
1/2 cup of carrots julienned
1 cup of string beans
1/2 cup of mushrooms sliced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Start off by taking your sliced mushrooms and adding them to a bowl with the soy sauce and sugar. Stir until well coated and then set aside.
When stir-frying veggies it is important to understand the different times that it takes certain vegetables to good. For example in my stir-fry tonight carrots take a little longer then the rest of the vegetables so I cook them in the pan by themselves for about three minutes and then add the rest of the vegetables aside from the mushrooms. Once the veggies are cooked but still crisp, about 5 minutes; set aside. While the wok is still hot add your mushroom mixture and cook until mushrooms are soft and beginning to brown. Add them to the veggies that you have set aside.
Now when it comes to the noodles I prefer to use a variety of egg noodles that I am able to buy at the Chinese supermarket. They come in small nests that are the perfect portion size for one person so they are nice and easy.
They are so easy to make, first get a pot of water boiling and then add in however many nests you need, take a fork or chopsticks and pull the noodles apart until they are floating freely in the water. Cook for 2 minutes and then drain. So simple and they taste wonderful. But if you don’t have access to something like this you can quite easily do this with packets of Ramen noodles. Just throw away the seasoning packet inside and cook the noodles according to package directions.
Now add a dime size of olive oil to your wok and stir-fry the cooked noodles for one minute, then add veggies and your brown sauce.
Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. And then serve and enjoy. Your family will actually be happy they skipped going out for this meal. And like I said once you have your sauce it is so easy to create hundreds of variations of this meal.
Chinese Brown Sauce
2 cups water
1 beef bullion
1 small onion diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 tsp ginger minced
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl; and set aside. Saute onion, garlic and ginger in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until onion is translucent.
Add water and bouillon and stir until bouillon is dissolved. Add soy sauce and sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring often. Add cornstarch-water mixture, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and translucent. If thicker sauce is desired, make and add additional cornstarch-water mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick.