A Quick and Easy Stir-Fry Recipe For Any Night of the Week
I love stir-fry cooking when I want to get a meal on the table fast–and also perhaps use up odds and ends of vegetables in a tasty way that has lots of variety and nutritional power. Scallops are perfect for stir-frying as they cook so quickly, and they’re fast to defrost, too, if you happen to have some in your freezer. But the flavor of scallops is subtle enough that you don’t want to drown them out with too many spices and herbs. That’s why a simple sauce of ginger, garlic, citrus and soy works so well, and the delicate flavor of leeks instead of stronger onions are a nice choice with scallops.
This recipe is simple to throw together; the most work is in prepping the vegetables and then it’s totally a snap! Have some cooked rice or noodles ready to serve with the stir-fry for a satisfying and healthy dinner.
The amount of ingredients listed below are enough to serve 3-4, depending on how hungry you are! It’s a satisfying meal on its own but you can also serve it with a green salad or slaw with an Asian vinaigrette, some crispy-fried wontons, or with a clear or miso-based soup to start.
If you don’t have (or don’t like) scallops, you can also prepare this dish with medium-to-large shelled shrimp; just adjust cooking time accordingly. I like using small bay scallops instead of the larger sea scallops, but either will work with this recipe just fine.
- 1 pound scallops (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil (vegetable, peanut or corn)
- 3 peeled and crushed garlic cloves
- 1 2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut into thin strips and thoroughly washed
- 1 cup fresh or frozen shelled peas
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (or use canned baby corn)
- 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and julienned
- 4 oz canned bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons good quality soy sauce
- 1 tsp cane sugar
1. Prepare your mise en place
Because the stir-fry is so fast to cook, make sure you get all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go first. You can do all your chopping and slicing while cooking the rice or noodles you’re going to serve with the stir-fry. Then, set up your mise en place right near the cooktop so that you aren’t searching around for anything at the last minute.
2. Heat the wok and stir-fry the scallops
Heat your wok or large skillet over high heat and add your cooking oil to coat the surface. Then, add the scallops and stir fry until just done, only 1-2 minutes! (Overcooking the scallops will make them tough and chewy.)
Remove the scallops from the wok using a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
3. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic
Add the ginger and garlic to the wok and stir-fry for just 30 seconds to release their aroma and flavor. Do not allow the garlic to burn.
4. Add the vegetables to the wok
Next, add the leeks, snow peas, peas and the corn to the wok and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, until cooked by just crisp-tender.
5. Return the scallops to the wok and add the bamboo shoots
Stir to combine all ingredients and just warm-through the bamboo shoots.
6. Add the sauce ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste
Add the soy sauce, lemon juice and sugar to the stir-fry and cook for one more minute. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I like to finish the dish with a splash of ponzu sauce.)
7. Serve and enjoy!
Plate the stir-fry in deep dishes or large bowls on top of cooked rice or noodles. Serve immediately and enjoy!