Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yakisoba - and haiku to you

wok heats over flame;
so much to chop; make cocktail
and sip, grasshopper.

I've learned only in very recent years how one's mise en place makes an enormous difference in the ease of putting a meal on the table within a reasonable amount of time after one's spouse has come home from work. Witness this:

With enthusiasm: "Hi, honey, I'm home."
With resignation: "Hullo."
With anticipation: "What's for dinner?"
Snappishly: "A goddamn stir-fry if I ever finish chopping everything up."

Compare with this:
"Hi, honey, I'm home."
"Hello, dear."
"What's for dinner?"
"The mother of all stir-fries which will be ready in minutes as soon as you're ready."

Mise en place is what makes the difference. It doesn't take a long time to chop up stuff, except when you feel under the gun. Get out your Tupperware and do the chopping in the morning or even the night before. In most stir-fries there are things that go into the pan (wok or not wok) in sequence. Simply put them in separate containers. When it's time to cook get that pan or wok hot, hot, hot. While the oil heats put your bottles of soy sauce, cooking wine, vegetable oil, sesame oil, whatever, next to the stove.

I designed this one carefully, using pre-cooked noodles. My result was a one-dish dinner. If there's ever a divorce in this family it won't be from a complaint that "his mise was never en place." (I wonder if they can develop a pill for it?) "If you need more than four hours to get everything in place for a stir-fry, contact your physician immediately. Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for stir-fry activity."

Oh, what's in it:
vegetable oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 huge clove garlic, minced
4 mini and multi-colored bell peppers
4 baby bok choys
4 scallions, green and white parts, 1" long
6 medium button mushrooms or baby bellas
leftover cooked sliced steak
8 oz. yakisoba noodles
To taste: splashes of Shiaxing wine, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Oh Stephen your conversation with Spouse make me LOL for real.
Goddamn stirfry if I ever get done chopping the veg. SO TRUE! I'm a huge believer in mise en place. With out it I'm a really lousy cook :) The meal sounds down right yummy.

Jenn said...

HAHA!! You crack me up! But, joking all aside, you can make a stir fry so much easier by doing the work ahead of time. Great tip :) And the stir fry does look like the mother of all stir-fries!!! :)

Pam said...

Your wok is so hot
Make me a gin and tonic
You and I will dine so fine!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

I think I must practice my mise en place, or as you suggest do the chopping in the morning - great stir fry!
Mary x

The Squishy Monster said...

This sounds delish! I love that it's bursting with so many different colors, flavors, and textures =) A happy weekend to you!!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

this looks delicious and I bet your partner loved it ;0)

Angie's Recipes said...

I am drooling! This stir-fry looks so flavoursome and delicious.

Chris said...

Well played, Pam, you beat me to it!

Hmm, I have so pork tenderloins thawed, maybe some pork stir fry tonight?

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