you are what you eat
This prawn stir fry makes a delicious quick and nutritious mid week meal. A stir fry is so versatile as you can add any vegetables you have in your vege- drawer from as little two to throwing in as many as your heart desires!
If you are not an adventurous cook, using the same sauce, but switching between different starches (rice/ noodles/ quinoa), varying your proteins (lean beef strips/ chicken pieces/ fish/ prawn) and using different vegetables, you can make the same stir fry taste like a whole new dish!
Here are some basics:
Proteins: Marinate your protein in advance, even if it is just for an hour or two. You can use chilli garlic paste mixed with a light soy sauce; or ginger, soy, chilli and orange. Trim your meat or fish into bite sized pieces, and stir fry this with a tablespoon of oil before you start with the vegetables. Remove from the heat once cooked and set aside while you use the same pan for the vegetables.
Vegetables: I can throw just about any vegetable I can lay my hands on into a stir fry. I start with the ‘hardest’ vegetables first, so it would usually be onion then carrot, peppers, baby marrow, mushroom, green beans and even a baby corn if its available. I leave the spinach or purple cabbage for last, after I have added the sauce to the protein and vegetables.
Spices: I try to make most of my cooking low in salt or salt free so I prefer a low sodium soy sauce and keep it to a maximum of 2 tablespoons. I use alot of ginger (bottled or shop bought- I love the ‘Shan’ ginger taste), fresh green or red chillies, cumin seeds, maybe a little garlic, and a squeeze of tomato sauce. Adding a little honey will add some sweetness, and a lime (rind and juice) for fish or shellfish.
Crunch: Once your stir fry is done, throw over a handful of chestnuts, walnuts or cashew nuts and some fresh herbs. Spring onion adds some extra crunch and flavor and you can do either freshly chopped coriander or whole basil leaves.
A base: Every stir fry needs a base, to help soak up the sauce and make the meal filling. You can do long grain rice with lentils, noodles, whole grain spaghetti or quinoa.
Ingredients you will need for this stir fry:
2 cups thick noodles, boiled
1 cup purple cabbage
1/2 brown onion
1 cup peppers cut into strips
2 baby marrows cut into strips
2 carrots cut into strips
12 large prawns, skin on
handful of coriander leaves
1 fresh red chilli, seeds removed
2 garlic cloves
2 t cumin seeds
1/2 cup reduced fat coconut milk
1 stalk of a spring onion
handful of cashew nuts
1T reduced fat soy sauce
– Zest the lime, reserve the zest and squeeze for the juice.
– Chop half the coriander leaves into a very fine paste, add the garlic and chilli, chop until it is almost a pulp. You can do this in a food processor (I did not have one but the chopping worked well)! Add this to the prawns, add the juice of half a lime. Set asides for an hour to marinate.
– In a wide based pan, add the onion and cumin seeds, stirring so that the onion starts to loosen. Add the prawns with any juice that has formed while marinating. Stir well and once the prawns start to change colour start to add the vegetables. Carrots first moving on to the softer ingredients. Add the spices and the last bit of the lime juice, stir well so that the spices do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
– Add the coconut milk, stirring well, once the milk starts to bubble add the noodles and purple cabbage. Garnish with spring onion, coriander leaves and cashew nuts. Serve hot with paper napkins as it can be a messy meal- but so delicious!