Do you love stir fry, but find the prep work tedious? I felt the same way until I learned some easy short cuts that not only cut back on my prep time, but also meant less clean up time. One of those short-cuts involved the mixture of garlic, ginger, scallions, and red pepper flakes that add complex flavors to my stir fries. No matter what meat or vegetables I cook in my stir fry, I always make a little well in the center and quickly fry some aromatics in it before adding a sauce. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to mince the aromatics small enough that we don’t end up biting into a big, unappetizing hunk of garlic or ginger. I could use the food processor, but I don’t want to get it dirty for such a small job. I also don’t want to have to buy ginger every time we have a stir fry and ginger doesn’t really last all that long. The solution that works for us is to prepare enough aromatics for several stir fry dinners at once and then freeze them in ice cube trays.
4 heads peeled garlic (about 8 oz once peeled or 1 cup minced)
2 oz peeled ginger (about 1/4 cup minced)
Whites of 16-20 scallions
1 TB red pepper flakes (optional, adjust according to heat preferences)
¼ cup sesame oil
Unless you love chopping food into tiny bits, use a food processor to mince the garlic, ginger, scallions, and red pepper flakes. I try to process until it is just short of a puree.
Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray in 1 TB portions, making about 18 portions. Press the aromatics in tight and then spread the sesame oil over the top where it can soak in and fill in any holes before freezing.
When you are ready to make a stir fry, get an aromatic flavor cube out as soon as you start cooking. This will allow it to thaw a little before mixing into your stir fry. I set the cube near the pan to help the thawing process. This mixture can also be used to flavor a marinade for grilling meat.
Simplify stir fry with aromatic flavor cubes. Happy Cooking!