Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry (“Buddhist’s Delight”)
If you’re a longtime vegetarian or vegan, you’ve likely ordered a version of this Chinese restaurant standard. It’s easy to make at home, and always a treat for anyone who loves Asian-style meals. Serve over hot cooked brown rice or Asian noodles, along with a simple slaw-type salad or a mixed greens salad with orange sections and toasted almond slices. For protein, choose your favorite simple tofu, tempeh, or seitan preparation to serve alongside or atop this dish.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (preferably) or water
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, optional
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons dry wine, optional
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, more or less to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons safflower or other high-heat oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized florets,
or 1 broccoli crown plus 2 to 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced diagonally
- 1 cup small brown mushrooms, stemmed and cut in half
or use more exotic Asian varieties like shiitake or wood-ear
- Several nappa cabbage or regular green cabbage leaves,
cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
- 1 to 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 15-ounce can baby corn, drained, optional
- Toasted cashews or peanuts for topping, optional
Dissolve the arrowroot or cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of the broth or water to make it smooth and pourable.
Combine the dissolved cornstarch with the remaining broth and the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Prepare all the veggies as directed in the ingredient list, as the stir-fry goes very quickly from there.
Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for a minute or so.
Add all the vegetables, and turn up the heat. Stir-fry until everything is bright and tender-crisp, not more than 5 minutes, adding very small amounts of additional broth or water, just enough to keep the pan moist.
Whisk the sauce together and pour it in. When the liquid thickens and everything is nicely heated through, season to taste with additional soy sauce and serve at once as suggested in the headnote.
Variation: Substitute any other veggies you might want to use up that are in your crisper — bell peppers, bok choy, white mushrooms, squashes — it’s all good!
- Here are more easy vegetable stir-fries