Farmers Market Stir Fry in cast iron pan

Cast iron is amazing for stir fry.
This is the first meal I've made that tastes like good chinese food (however this is much healthier).  Pairing it with egg fried rice made it a whole meal and gave some protein (which is great b/c I always have eggs around but don't often have bits of meat perfect for stir fry).

Great way to use up veggies from the farmer's market, especially with the end of summer bounty making me purchase perhaps too much on saturdays. I had long green beans, green bell peppers, onions and eggplant needing to be used up.

I saute my eggplant slices separately as the husband will not eat eggplant (sad!). Just make sure you cook it really good so it gets mushy- the best texture (raw eggplant texture is more rubbery- not so good).

Usually I get scared away from stir fry as I don't feel like I have the appropriate "sauce" for it.  But really then I realized that Japanese teriyaki is delicious and doesn't take more than sugar, sake, mirin and soy sauce. So, I used a variation for this and it was very good (ok so maybe that makes it Japanese-Chinese fusion but who cares).

This makes excellent leftovers.

1.  Mix up the "sauce".  I used sake, soy sauce, little bit of sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic and cracked black pepper.

2. Heat cast iron pan over high heat for 3-5 minutes until it is screaming hot. Add a little peanut oil (or other high heat oil- don't use olive oil as it will burn) and coat the pan.   Be careful, that pan gets very hot and I've burnt myself -- use oven mits.

2. Sear each veggie separately in the hot pan and dish it out into a bowl when you are ready to do the next veggie. this way you don't overcrowd the pan and decrease the temp or get too much liquid. This helps cook the veggies in the appropriate stir fry method (and taste).

Veggie selection/Ingredient Note: In this photo I used long green beans (green beans taste the same), bell pepper and onion. Eggplant, celery, broccoli (if in small enough chunks) are all good.  You can even do leafy greens like spinach but they will cook really fast. Pretty much anything should be good in stir fry...

3. Once you are done cooking all the veggies separately, you'll have a bowl of veggies with black marks. This is perfect. Now pour all the cooked veggies back into the hot pan. Add the sauce, stir and coat the veggies in the sauce.

Serve hot, with rice or egg fried rice.

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