Ginger. I don’t quite know what to say about ginger. It is one of those elusive ingredients that is easy to find when you don’t need it for anything, and difficult to locate when you do. At least in Morocco. So when I bought a half-kilo of the stuff on a whim, I found myself struggling to find enough recipes to justify the sheer amount of ginger I’d purchased.1 And then it hit me.2 Stir-fry.
Killing two birds with one heavy lump of ginger, I justified the impulse buy and satisfied my ever-present Asian food craving at the same time. (Options for Asian food in Tangier are limited to a Chinese restaurant of questionable authenticity and an overpriced Thai joint where most of the key ingredients are either left out or found in cans.) Instead of chicken, I threw in some fresh farmers’ market veggies and hard-earned broccoli3 to make this stir fry completely vegetarian/vegan friendly.4 I make no claims in regards to authenticity; only palatability. Trust me, the recipe woks.
Ginormous Ginger Stir-Fry
- 1-2 large heads broccoli (500g), chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- a pinch of ground black pepper (or red pepper flakes/chili paste)
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper (optional, but pretty)
- 2 cups snow peas, cut in half
- 1 cup green beans, chopped in halves or thirds
- 1 large zucchini or 2 small ones, quartered and sliced
Chop your vegetables!
Sauté one-half of garlic with one-half of ginger in 1 tbsp oil for 2-3 minutes.
Add snow peas, green beans, and carrots. Add remaining 2 tbsp vegetable oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broccoli, bell peppers, and . Cook for 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring.
Stir in soy sauce. Dissolve 1 tbsp cornstarch in 3 tbsp water. Mix into vegetables.
Add remaining half of garlic, ginger, and ginger powder. Add scallions and zucchini.
Cook vegetables over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender but still crisp. This took about 15-20 minutes for me, but your cooking time may vary. If you have a real wok,5 you can turn up the heat and reduce your cooking time. Add more ginger powder, garlic, and soy sauce to taste.
Serve with rice, couscous, or quinoa, or even alone.6
P.S. This still didn’t use up all my ginger.
- Pro tip: Don’t buy an expensive, imported ingredient unless you know what you’re going to do with it. [↩]
- Well, not literally. Ginger–even a half-kilo of it–would not have sufficient heft to be used as a weapon. Trust me on this one. [↩]
- Broccoli is another one of those hard-to-find, only-on-Thursdays-every-other-week-if-you-know-who-to-ask commodities here, which is pretty upsetting for me because I tend to go through a kilo of broccoli in just two sittings. [↩]
- I come from a family of improvisational stir-fryers. My grandfather makes a mean chicken ginger stir-fry and my sister’s chili-jalapeno stir-fry is not for the faint of heart. [↩]
- And not an old, scorched, hand-me-down Moroccan saucepan. [↩]
- Directly out of a cold tupperware container at 11pm with your fingers, if you’re anything like me. [↩]