Kanazawa + Standard Stir-fry.

standard stir-fry

I just finished making my usual meal – STIR-FRY! – for the week (which I will get to in a minute).

Right now, I have on my kerosene heater and new Uniqlo warm “room” clothes, which are navy blue sweatpants dotted with stars and a striped fleece shirt and fuzzy socks. I should be doing Japanese homework, but instead my feet are propped up on my desk, and I am looking through pictures from the weekend.

I went to Kanazawa, which is about 45 minutes away by train, in the neighboring prefecture Ishikawa. This city is – wow, wow, WOW – such a beauty. Even in the cold rain.

Sometime soon, I’ll have to share my pictures from my first visit to Kanazawa on a warm, sunny September day. Leah  and I still went to the Kenroku-en and Kanazawa’s art museum. We also went out for Indian food, ate apple/persimmon/walnut baked oatmeal for breakfast, and, yes, indulged in some good beers and bourbon tasting. Then, there was today’s Thanksgiving dinner, which needs a whole post on itself.

Rainy day in Kanazawa.
More Indian.
Bourbon tasting.
Apple/persimmon/walnut baked oatmeal a la 101 Cookbooks.
Thanksgiving turkey dinner preparations are underway in Japan.

As you can see, it was a really fun weekend.

I originally met Leah through food blogging, but she is also a former JET and has been super helpful in my move to Japan. And she was nice to invite me to her Thanksgiving dinner party.

Unfortunately, in my coming-out-of-culture-shock state, I cooked nothing for the Thanksgiving dinner. Ummmm, I bought cheese and crackers at the train station. I don’t even really like cheese and crackers. Oh, the irony! Yet, Leah is a force in the kitchen, and spending time with her this weekend inspired me to do some food blogging.

But what, I thought?

I have not been cooking much over here. Mostly stir-fries. It’s hard being creative as an illiterate person. Last weekend, I made cookies and used SALT instead of sugar.

At first, I was like, “Ahhh, I am just making stir-fries. Blah. blah. blah. That’s so boring!”

But they have become a staple of my diet over here. (Along with frozen pizza and mikans and white Kit Kat bars.) I came home after a weekend away, and this was my go-to meal. I had it for dinner and made enough to cover lunches for the next two days. Hopefully.

Alas, here is my standard stir-fry recipe.

Sarah’s Standard Stir-fry

Okay, this is nothing fancy, but it is quick, healthy, and versatile. All things that I need in a meal lately. I am breaking it down into five easy steps.


1. Meat (optional). I use boneless chicken breasts most of the time. I cook the meat first, in my wok by with a little oil. Sometimes, I will add a splash of soy sauce. After the meat is cooked, I remove it from the wok.

standard stir-fry

2. Vegetables. Go wild! I like carrots, green bean, and broccoli. Sometimes, I will add peppers or onions or try some Japanese vegetables, like seaweed. I like to add a bit of oil, then the veggies and a little water. Cover them with a lid to steam until they become tender and soft. Once they are cooked just right, add back in your meat and drizzle with sauce.

standard stir-fry

3. Sauce. The only thing I really measure. I’ve realized that most Japanese recipes use the sake-mirin-soy sauce combo in almost everything.

  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I use ginger honey)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

standard stir-fry

4. Rice/Noodles. I will serve this over rice or noodles, or make fried rice. If I am making fried rice, I will add cold rice (day-old is the best!) to the cooked veggie/meat mixture.

standard stir-fry

Then, whisk two eggs in a bowl. (I just use the same one as I used for my sauce.) Push the stir-fry to the sides of the wok, then add the beaten eggs. I let the eggs cook first, sort of like making scrambled eggs, before I mix all of the ingredients together.

standard stir-fry
standard stir-fry

5. Toppings. I sometimes top my bowl with fried shallots, chopped scallions, roasted sesame seeds, and/or toasted sesame oil.

standard stir-fry
standard stir-fryOishi (おいしい)!

About Sarah

Always thinking about my next meal.
This entry was posted in IN THE KITCHEN. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Kanazawa + Standard Stir-fry.

  1. This sounds and looks great!

    If you’d like a really fast and easy dip to go with anything such as raw or steamed vegetables and I guess meats, too, (I only made the dip for the first time tonight and having it with bell peppers) here it is:

    3 tablespoons of miso
    1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup

    That’s the ratio and I’m sure you can adjust but just mix the two ingredients until mixed and creamy.

    The recipe is by Yoko Arimoto. She recommends it with sticky potatoes (satoimo but specifies “small” satoimo).

    • Sarah says:

      Yum! I haven’t bought miso yet over here. I have been wanting to try it – my students have miso soup for breakfast! – but am intimidated by the miso AISLE at the grocery stores.

      • Understandably so! I’m not a miso soup eater and I don’t buy miso unless I have to for a recipe that may call for it but it’s more common for every household to keep miso like you would with salt and pepper.

        Don’t get the white one which is sweet. Get the regular brown kind. Nowadays many manufacturers advertise “減塩” which means it comes with less salt but I don’t think you need that.

  2. Leah says:

    Makiko Itoh has a really good miso primer here: http://justhungry.com/handbook/just-hungry-reference-handbooks/japanese-miso-primer

    I usually have white miso and red miso in the house for different kinds of soup/meals, but I take forever to use it! My favorite is sesame miso (goma miso, 胡麻味噌 or ごま味噌), which I just dip things in or use as sauce because the consistency is much runnier.

    Glad you had a good time! I’m also glad you posted your stirfry guidelines. I was not joking about being a trainwreck in the kitchen before I moved here, and I really could have used this guide. ^^

  3. Pingback: Ginger Chicken with Asparagus « Yummyfoodmadeeasy

  4. Thanks for showing the step by step process. The end result looks like a celebration in a bowl! I can’t wait to try your sauce recipe. Especially the sake part. Thanks for sharing this and all your adventures:)

  5. Pingback: Mmmm Monday: Oil Free Stir Fry - My So-Called Geek Girl Life

  6. Pingback: Spicy Beef Stir Fry | Chronic in The Kitchen

  7. Pingback: The Word of the Day is Spatchcock: Thanksgiving 2012 | I'll Make It Myself!

Add your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s