Don’t underestimate how important it is to master stir fried vegetables. It is a dish that will keep rewarding you well into the future and is such a simple and quick method of cooking, it will pay for itself in spades!
Stir fried vegetables make a great side dish or can star as the main event themselves. It delivers crunchy, slightly “al dente” vegetables which are full of flavor and without losing all the goodness of the veggies from being over-cooked.
A wok is great to cook in and is designed for quick, flash frying over high heat and is particularly good over gas heat or flame and if it has a flat bottom then it also works well over electric heat. But a saute pan is just as successful, so if you have one of these you are good to go
Today we feature an easy, Thai version of stir fried vegetables. If you want to add meat, fish or tofu then go right ahead. We also briefly explain the market culture and buying habits of Thai people when it comes to food.
Thai Vegetables in the Market
You do see some sights in South East Asia which are a little different to home and one of them is the way food is purchased and stored.
In Thailand, 99% of people buy their fresh produce from a local market early in the morning and cook it on the day it is purchased. This process is repeated every day. Market stalls are generally run by the growers and are re-supplied on a daily basis with fresh produce. No vegetables sitting in cold storage here for months at a time. So vegetables are super fresh and full of taste and goodness; perfect for a fresh meal of stir fried vegetables.
You won’t find too many Thais shopping in supermarkets. This seems to be the domain of expatriates looking for treats from home or very well off Thai people. Just by observing the fruit and vegetables in the supermarket versus the local markets, you realize the produce in the supermarkets is inferior in quality and freshness but twice the price. Hmmm.
You also notice when meat is sold in the markets, there is no part of the animal that is not used. This can be somewhat confronting to younger, Western eyes. However, I can recall seeing all of these items being sold in butcher shops in my youth. But with the gradual influence of supermarkets they slowly died out and we are worse off for that. I can’t help but think everything in the west is over-stored, over-packaged, over-preserved so that everything looks perfect, but isn’t always so perfect for your insides.
Do you really know what you are putting in your mouth? Food dyes, preservatives, genetically modified food and the list goes on. You might be surprised and the fact is buying fresh every day or two is the smarter (albeit more time-consuming) method of buying your food. This is why we prefer to grow our own vegetables or buying from farmer’s markets and being in control of what goes in your mouth.
If you want to increase the range of vegetables you are eating, seek out an Asian grocer. South East Asian vegetables are great and they are perfect for stir-frying. Our guide below will help steer you in the right direction.
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Thai Stir Fried Vegetables
If you want to get your kids eating more vegetables, try this quick and easy recipe. Only 15 minutes’ work and you can have a meal on the table that is healthy, nutritious and tasty. It is light on the spicing so should be agreeable to most people’s palate.
You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. It is definitely OK to experiment in making Thai stir fried vegetables.
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