Rice Wine Vegetable Stir-Fry

My refrigerator is positively busting with fresh produce. All year I look forward to this time of year when there are zucchini, green beans, cucumbers, corn, and tomatoes, but just as soon as it arrives I get overwhelmed and never know where to start. Should I use the tomatoes first, or corn? I have so many cucumbers I don’t know what to do with them and, in anticipation of an overflow of zucchini I gave away several and now find myself (I’m afraid to say it!) zucchini-less. As I methodically plot and plan my way through my delightful onslaught of produce I have come across some lovely gems, but the photographs are great. With the changing seasons the light in the kitchen has, once again, changed and I’m struggling to chase it down. I think a little light studio is in order. I the mean time, you will just have to take me at my word. Perhaps you are in your own veggie predicament, so all you really need is a word of encouragement and a suggestion, but either way, this simple, refreshing stir-fry is perfect way to take full advantage of the last summer produce.

Here, the barely cooked veggies take front-and-center, not hiding behind chicken, pork or tofu and the light rice wine sauce is a welcomed reprieve from overpowering soy sauce. The recipe is endlessly flexible with the seasons as long as the vegetables of choice are fresh, crisp, and alive with flavor. I chose green beans, carrots, broccoli, and red cabbage on a steaming bed of white rice. Next time I’ll use brown rice since I think the slight nuttiness will be a nice compliment to the rice wine.

Vegetable Stir-Fry
Adapted from Epicurious

This quick dinner is endlessly versatile, use what is in your fridge and get creative! If you want to add some protein, I think a fried egg would go well on top.

Rice Wine Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground dried ginger root (alternately, you can add 2 tsp fresh with the garlic)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Vegetables
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup carrots, sliced thin
1 cup broccoli florets, sliced
1 cup fresh green beans
1 cup cabbage, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias (optional)

Mix the broth, rice wine, cornstarch, sugar, ginger, and salt in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.

Heat oils in large skillet or wok, until just smoking. Add carrots and cook until barely tender. Add broccoli, and green beans, cook until they are bright green. Add the cabbage, garlic and sauce. Quickly cook until the cabbage is tender and the garlic is fragrant. Toss in scallions and serve over rice immediately.

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