I've been asked many times about how I can find time to cook when I really have a lot on my hands. The truth is, I actually DO NOT have extra time for food blogging. But I MAKE TIME for it because writing for me is a release, and cooking is my unwinding. At the end of the day, if I don't spend some time in the kitchen, I'd probably go nuts. Although admittedly, there are days when I'm actually worked to the bone and already nuts and cooking is out of the question. On those days I rely on my friendly neighborhood food joints, running the gamut from barbecue, goto, porkchop, batchoy, chinese fried chicken, etc.
Anyhow, when I'm pressed for time but have to cook something out of the ordinary, I turn to stir fries.
With stir-fries, preparing eats a bigger chunk of time than the actual cooking. The chopping and the slicing takes more time than the actual stir-frying, which can be done in less than 10 minutes, especially if you're working with seafood. To work around the heavy preparation time I prepare things in advance (usually as I watch TV)-- sliced onions, pounded garlic, sliced veggies, sliced meats -- so that all I need to do during crunch time is whip up my wok, fire up the stove and stir fry away. :)
What's In It?
150g. squid slices
150g. fish fillets, sliced (here I used mahi-mahi fillets)
150g. prawns or shrimps, shelled and deveined
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, cored and sliced
3 stalks leeks, sliced into 1" strips
1 medium-sized red onion, sliced
half a head of garlic, peeled and pounded
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and julienned
4-5 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into wedges (or flowerettes)
4-5 tablespoons cooking oil
Heat oil in wok or frying pan. Saute onions, garlic and ginger. Add in fish fillet slices, stir fry for about minute or until the fish is half cooked (no longer pinkish, already whitish but still juicy). Sprinkle black pepper. Add in prawns, stir fry for 30 seconds, then add in bell pepper, leeks and carrots. Let simmer for one minute. When the prawns turn orange, add in the squid slices, followed by the oyster sauce. Stir fry for one minute more, then serve with steamed rice.
1) You may add a little brown sugar (about 2 tbsps) or a teaspoon of hot sauce, or both, to make things more interesting. ;)
2) Instead of seafood, you may use beef, chicken, even pork. Be sure to choose the tender parts however, and add a 2 - 3 minutes to the stir frying time if you're using pork or beef strips.
3) Ginger strips work wonders in removing fishiness (lansa) from the dish.