Have you ever made a recipe that made you want to run out in your front yard and yell “I just made the best lunch ever!”? That happened when I made this stir-fry yesterday. My friend Rob invited me to join him on a new culinary journey with a group of folks cooking their way through Grace Young’s Stir-frying to the Sky’s Edge on Wok Wednesdays. I am very excited to be a part of this group since it lines up wonderfully with the paleo lifestyle. Being a newbie to this paleo thing and stir-frying, I find myself in exciting culinary journey of learning this ancient cooking style, and finding ways to tweak the recipes to align more with paleo ingredients. Mind you not much tweaking needs to be done here, but follow along with me as I experiment with ingredients that are completely new to my kitchen.
This week’s recipe is hosted on Cathy’s site My Culinary Mission. We all pinkie swore not to post the recipes on our site unless we were the host, please go buy the book, you will not regret having it in your kitchen. Here is the recipe for Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken on Cathy’s site.
MASON JAR TIP for STIR-FRYING– Although quick to cook, stir-fries are a pain to prep. So much chopping. The best thing to do is chop and store your ingredients ahead of time. I created my Mason Mise en Place (putting in place) on Sunday, when I had extra time, stored them in my refrigerator, and prepared the dish very quickly after my workout on Tuesday. Did you get that? I stir-fried my ingredients 48 hours after I prepped them. Prepare your stir-fries days earlier, such as on the weekends when you have time, to quickly stir-fry on a busy weeknight when time is sparse. When it was time to stir-fry, I lined my jars up like little soldiers on my counter top in order of use in the recipe. Like this…
Mason Mise en Place for Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken
Jar 1: wide-mouth pint, chopped onions
Jar 2: quart jar, sliced chicken thighs
Jar 3: 4 ounce jar, salt, kuzu**, pepper
Mix Jars 2 and 3 in a bowl and line up next to stove after Jar 1.
Jar 4: 4 ounce jar, ginger, garlic, paprika, cumin
Jar 5: wide-mouth pint, orange and yellow bell peppers- the recipe called for green, I don’t like green
Jar 6: wide-mouth pint, zucchini, Anaheim pepper, and fish sauce**, salt
Place your fish sauce, oil, extra salt, extra kuzu, and chili powder bottle on the counter to add to recipe when stated. See below for starred** ingredients.
Paleo Changes to the Recipe
Avocado Oil- in place of the peanut or vegetable oil, I chose to go with avocado oil, one of the healthy oils of the paleo lifestyle. This stuff is pricey but so delicious. Another high heat oil that would have worked nicely with this recipe is coconut oil.
Kuzu- Kuzu is a starch from the root of the kuzu plant used in Asian cooking for over 2000 years. It is a wonderful thickener in place of flour and cornstarch, and along with arrowroot, is one of the thickeners welcome in the paleo lifestyle. I used it as I would have cornstarch in this recipe and did not change the measurement amounts- you have to eyeball it when measuring since it is chunky. Since it is chunky, and when I placed it in Jar 3 with the salt and pepper, I quickly gave it a few taps with my pestle to break it up, worked like a charm. Kuzu can be found at Whole Foods or your local health food store. Tropical Traditions carry single packs as well.
Fish Sauce- I used a bottle I had purchased from Whole Foods, meh. It contained fish extract (wha?), sugar, and salt. After reading Nom Nom Paleo’s review of Red Boat Fish Sauce, I will be ordering that one for the next WW stir-fry that calls for fish sauce. Red Boat contains only black anchovies and sea salt, so a small amount goes a long way. This stuff is pricey and will be treated like an aged bottle of Scotch for sure!
Here is an action shot of the stir-frying. I had it on the wall, floor, my shirt, and in my hair- good times! I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. I told Rob that I even licked the plate! The flavors were spot on with a touch of heat. On every bite I was able to detect each and every ingredient. The miracle? I ate zucchini and liked it. My cook top does not get as hot as I would like for stir-frying, so the dish took a bit longer than described in the recipe- no biggie, it was worth the wait.
For the Wok Wednesday recipes, I will be enjoying them along with my Stir-fried Cauliflower Rice, video recipe tomorrow.
Please view my VIDEO- “the fastest way to “rice” cauliflower” so that you too can cook along with me.
More Mason Jar Meal Tips and Recipes, click here.
More Paleo Recipes, click here.
Another way BRK is Keepin’ it GLASSY!