Home ec class, Hollywood Senior High School, Nedlands, Western Australia.
That’s where, in the fall of 1997, I fell in love with cooking. I had cooked periodically before that, but that was the first time I got to do everything myself, start to finish. I was in heaven.
One of the first things we made in that class was stir fry. And for months, I stuck with the recipe I learned. It was good, but basic, and it got pretty old. That’s one of my gripes about stir-fry. Too often, it’s just the same mix of vegetables with the same flavor of sauce.
But with my extraordinarily limited batterie de cuisine, stir fry is one of the things I can actually make, so I have made it my personal mission to come up with more interesting stir fry. Like this one.
I love the broccoli and almond combination, and I dressed it up with a lemon-based sauce. It’s a great, simple stir fry, and it’s just crying out to be served over brown rice.
A little note about lemon zest… I do not have a zester. I don’t even have a grater. But I improvised a little and came up with passable zest using just my knife. Check it out!
Cut thin pieces of peel, avoiding the white part as much as possible
Cut those pieces into thin strips
Chop the strips into little pieces. It doesn’t look as pretty as lemon zest, but if you chop the pieces fine enough, you get the flavor and don’t notice that you’re eating lemon peel.
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbps broth or water
1 tsp cornstarch
Whisk together all ingredients and set aside.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb boneless-skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 a small yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
1/3 cup almonds, cut in half lengthwise
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken, onion, and ginger, and cook, stirring, until chicken is cooked through.
Add the broccoli florets and a few tablespoons of water. Cook until broccoli is crisp-tender.
Add the sauce and almonds, and stir until sauce has thickened and coats the chicken and broccoli.
Serve over brown rice.