No matter how hard I try, there is always that one cucumber that likes to play hide-and-seek. When I am looking for it, it is not there and when I am not looking for it, it appears. Not only is it now right in my face, it has passed its prime and is no longer salad material.
No loss, instead I peel, seed, cut it into bite-sized pieces and combine it with whatever vegetables are in the garden at the time and make a stir-fry. Delicious!!!!!
Below is a recipe. Use it as a guide.
STIR-FRIED CUCUMBER & SEASONAL VEGETABLES
Adapted from “My Students’ Favorite Chinese Recipes, updated edition” by Norma Chang
1/2 pound lean pork, beef or chicken thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
2 teaspoons ginger wine (see Ginger & Ginger Wine page)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (regular or gluten free)
In a mixing bowl, combine the above ingredients. Marinate 1/2 hour, if time permits. Can be done the day before and keep refrigerated.
1/2 – 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into about 1/4″ thick slices
1/2 – 3/4 pounds seasonal vegetables (sliced carrots, onion, cabbage, bok choy, snow peas, red peppers, etc.)
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken broth or as needed
1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water
1. Add 1 tablespoon oil to preheated wok or frying pan. Swirl to coat cooking surface. Add salt and vegetables (see NOTE below). Stir-fry until slightly under desired doneness. Remove to a clean platter.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok or frying pan. Add garlic, stir-fry until garlic is lightly browned. Add meat. Stir-fry until meat is cooked, adding broth 1 tablespoon at a time if wok or frying pan is dry and to prevent burning. Add vegetables, mix well. Add remaining broth for gravy. Thicken with cornstarch mixture. Serves 2 – 3.
The vegetables in the above dish are:
From my garden: carrots, Chinese celery, gai lan (Chinese broccoli), broccoli, Chinese chives & garlic
From a garden friend: cucumber
From Locust Grove: asparagus & red onion
The meat is pork.
I knew the cucumber was not waxed, so for color and texture, I peeled every other strip.
I like my cucumber crunchy, so I keep it in a separate dish and add it during step 2.
Like spicy food? Add 1/4 – 2 teaspoons (or to taste) Asian chile sauce or minced fresh chilies during cooking step (2) with the garlic.
Copyright © 2011 by Norma Chang
This looks yummy! I’m always looking for new ways to use the vegetables in my husband’s garden!
What are some of the vegetables in your husband’s garden?
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