Peanut Butter Stir Fry


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When my son was a toddler, he was a picky eater. Not super picky, but picky enough that we had to be creative with our cooking. Things he LOVED were ketchup, maple syrup, apples, pears, peas, corn, pasta, tomato sauce, peanut butter, potatoes, cheese, chicken. We figured out that if we made a dish with one of these ingredients and renamed it using the ingredient he liked, he would eat it.

It was all about the marketing. So we ate things like Ketchupy Meatballs (sweet and sour meatballs), Maple Syrup Beans (baked beans with a bit of maple syrup in the sauce) and Peanut Butter Stir Fry (Thai peanut stir fry).

Peanut Butter Stir Fry (yes – this is what we still call it, even though our son is almost 10) is one of our all time favourite recipes. I make it so often that I don’t even have to measure the ingredients in the sauce anymore. It can be made with any combination of veggies you have and it’s great for using up all those odds n’ ends in the fridge. I’ve even made it with just celery and carrots because that’s what I had on hand and it was still awesome. Just be mindful of how thick or thin you cut the veggies and how fast the types of veggies cook as you may have to cook some longer than others. Additions like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and celery need the longest time in the pan. Veggies like peppers, zucchini, and green beans need less time and additions like spinach, and herbs need even less pan time. Since the sauce is vegan (as long as you use vegetable broth), you can keep it vegan by just using veggies, or adding tofu or chick peas. For a meat addition, strips or cubes of chicken, beef or pork do well.

The meat and veggies I used in this post’s pictures were 2 cubed chicken breasts, 2 broccoli crowns, 3 small carrots, a handful of green beans and 1 small zucchini.

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Peanut Butter Stir Fry 

For 4-6

For the sauce (recipe adapted from the Looneyspoons Cookbook):

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger root
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes (depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

For the stir fry:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup of tofu OR strips or cubes of chicken, beef, or pork (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4-6 loosely packed cups of veggies

Prepare your sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside. The sauce may look lumpy and separated, but don’t worry, it will all melt and smooth out when you add it to the stir fry.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large wok or frying pan. Add the tofu or meat of choice (if using) and stir fry until cooked through. Remove from pan to a plate and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare your veggies: slice, dice, cube, julienne – any way you like. Add a bit more vegetable oil to the pan and then add the veggies that take the longest to cook. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add the veggies that take a bit less time and stir fry for a few more minutes. When the veggies are crisp-tender, add the sauce, your cooked tofu, chick peas or meat (if using) and any additions that take the least amount of time to cook (like spinach or herbs).

When the sauce has thickened a bit, it’s done. You don’t want to cook it too long and you want to serve it immediately, so your veggies don’t turn to mush. It’s great on its own, or serve it over cooked rice or noodles.


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