Growing up, my parents exposed my brother and I to a variety of cuisines. I remember a time when we lived in Alaska and my parents took us out to a Thai restaurant for the first time. I remember all of the adults dining with us saying “you two are such adventurous eaters”. I never really knew what they meant because to me, trying new cuisines was something to be excited about. At the Thai restaurant in Alaska I fell in love with the mounds of vegetables coated in brown sauce. Erik fell in love with the rice.
He’s been a rice boy ever since I can remember. When we lived in Indonesia, he inhaled rice like it was air. We had rice at most meals since it’s a staple in Indonesia. I always added a tiny bit to my plate as a side dish, but Erik used rice as the base and centerpiece of each of his meals. Even when we got the chance to eat something like a hot dog or french fries, Erik would always opt for a heaping pile of steamed rice (sometimes 2 orders of it) with some version of stir fry.
When we go out to Asian restaurants together now, I give my rice to Erik because he never can get enough of the stuff. Which is why this week for college concoction night, I decided to teach Erik how to make a hearty stir fry complete with as much rice as his heart desires. Whenever we go out to Thai restaurants, he always orders the cashew chicken with broccoli – it’s been his favorite for years. After setting out a variety of veggies for him to add to the skillet this week, he chose to re-create his favorite take on stir fry and make cashew chicken with brocolli for himself. With a massive pile of rice underneath. He did a fantastic job making himself dinner (apart from a somewhat sketchy addition of diet mountain dew to the skillet – maybe college kids need a little bit of caffeine with their meals…?) and he thoroughly enjoyed eating what he prepared.
I love stir fry dishes because of how easy and versatile they are. While he created his favorite dish in a skillet, I created mine in one right next to him. I added Shirataki noodles, Seitan strips, broccoli, and mushrooms to my plate. Stir fry meals are great ways to incorporate all of your food groups in one convenient skillet: protein, veggies, and carbs. They are also versatile enough to accommodate for any eating style. Here’s a recipe for Erik’s favorite stir fry dish! Hope you enjoy his college concoction!
Stir Fry on the Fly
1 chicken breast, sliced into small pieces
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Chicken broth (amount varies, use as much as needed to keep ingredients from burning)
1 head broccoli (chopped into pieces)
1/4 cup cashews
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 packages 1 minute white rice
1. In a skillet sprayed with cooking oil, add chicken strips, soy sauce, and a little bit of chicken broth. Put a lid on the pan and cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked (be sure to flip the strips after a few minutes). Add more broth (or Mountain Dew, I guess) if necessary to keep the strips from burning.
2. Once chicken is cooked, set the strips on a plate and let them hang out while you make the stir fry – you’ll add them in later.
3. In a skillet sprayed with cooking oil, add broccoli, oyster sauce, and a little bit of chicken broth. Cook the broccoli (stirring often) until it is tender. At this point, add cashews and chicken. Stir well and cook until thoroughly heated.
4. While these finishing touches are being placed in the skillet, make the minute rice containers according to package directions.
5. Pour the rice into a big plate. Dump the stir fry on top of the rice and dig into a great meal! You won’t miss the takeout containers or the money lost at a restaurant at all!