Stir fry is a pretty easy option for dinner, but in trying to add a little variety lately, I decided to try to do a peanut sauce for stir fry. I found a recipe for this Asian Pasta from Martha Stewart that I used as my starting point and tweaked to come up with something a bit easier and more feasible with available ingredients.
I knew I wanted to serve it over rice. We eat a lot of basmati or regular long grain white rice here, but stir fry dishes like this are nice with some sticky rice, if you have it available. I had to search a bit to find directions for preparing sticky rice on the stovetop, and here is one site that I found.
6 T soy sauce
6 T rice vinegar
3 T honey
½ c natural peanut butter
½ t ground ginger
Pinch of red chili flakes (or more, if you like spicy)
2 small onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
500 g chicken, cut in small strips or cubes
2 cups (approximately) of chopped vegetables (I used green bell peppers, carrots, and cauliflower.)
¼ c sesame oil
(Makes about 6 servings)
Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar (the first time I made this I didn't have any rice vinegar and tried apple cider vinegar, and it was a reasonable substitute), honey, peanut butter, ginger, and chili flakes in a bowl to form the sauce. As you might be able to see in the picture of the skillet, this makes a lot of sauce. When I'm using rice as a base, I really like to have plenty of sauce, but if you decide to serve this with noodles or you just prefer stir fry to be a little less saucy, you could easily half the sauce ingredients.
Saute the onions and garlic in a couple tablespoons of cooking oil for a couple of minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the chicken and brown on all sides of the pieces. I used chicken cut into approximately 1-inch cubes, but you could do strips, if you prefer. Other meats could also be substituted. Pork or beef also work nicely with peanut sauce.
When the chicken is nicely browned, add the chopped vegetables. Stir fry is quite flexible with which vegetables to use. We are always dependent on what is specifically in season, so I like to have recipes that can adjust to what is available. This time, I used green peppers, carrots, and cauliflower. Bell peppers of any variety work well and veggies that will stay a bit crunchy after a bit of cooking are good choices. I would also add that you could easily use less meat and more veggies, if you like a stir fry heavier on veggies. I was wanting to stretch the servings this made a bit, so I actually added more like 3 cups of veggies this particular time.
After about 2 minutes, add half of the sauce to pan. My kids tend to like the veggies a little on the softer side, so I continued sauteing them for about another 5 minutes, but it is a bit of a preference as to how crunchy you want the veggies. The goal is to let the veggies soak up some of the flavors of the sauce but still remain a bit crunchy (and for the meat to be cooked through). In a perfect stir-fry, the meat and veggies would likely be done in separate rounds or pans, but I was going for simple!
When the veggies and meat are done, turn off the heat, stir the sesame oil into the remaining sauce (can easily be skipped, but I love the taste of sesame oil) and pour in the pan and stir to mix in.