Crazy Asian Stir Fry

“What’s so crazy bout this stir fry, Reba?” ya say? Well, nothing really, but would you be reading this right now if’in I had called it “Completely Sane Stir Fry?” Fact of the matter is there are a couple of ingredients in this here stir fry that set it apart from yur common sense stir fry and in my humble opinion, they make all the difference in taste – subtle as it may be. 

Here’s what yur gonna need:


– 1/2 cup white rice 

– 1 cup water

– ½ tablespoon of coconut oil*

– ¼ pound piece of fish such as tilapia or salmon

– 1 teaspoon of orange marmalade or apricot jam or ½ teaspoon of honey

– 1 teaspoon of olive oil

– ¼ of a red pepper (or orange or yellow or green in a pinch)

– 1 cup broccoli flowerets – fresh or frozen

– ½ cup Julienned carrots

– 1 cup cabbage – optional

– 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, pressed

– 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

– 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

– ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger or 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

– 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

– Salt and pepper to taste


Don’t get all concerned about the long list of ingredients in this dish. If you don’t own curry or soy sauce or vinegar or the jam or honey, you probably oughtta figure out if you think you’re gonna like this when it’s all put together before you rush out and buy those things. If you like veggies and you like fish and you like Chinese food, well, I’d say it’s a safe investment to purchase these ingredients with the understanding that you can make this dish about once a week for about six months and still have some ginger left. If yur just not sure, how about invitin’ some of yur girlfriends over for stir fry and “Memoirs of a Geisha” night. Ask one to bring the curry, another to bring the ginger and yet another to bring the soy sauce. Have some fun putting this all together and then if you like it, confiscate the curry, ginger and soy sauce as the price of admission to the movie and yur set to fix it in the future! If yur girlfriends get all mad, tell ‘em they can come back next week for “Seven Years in Tibet” and some more stir fry.


So are you with me? Let’s go. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Dump the white rice (yes, I know brown rice is healthier – you just had to bring that up, didn’t ya!) in a small bowl or a measuring cup. Add about a cup of water to it and swoosh it around with your hand, dig in there, girls! The water’s gonna turn white – siphon off that starchy water and do this a coupla times more until the water is not so dern white. This’ll make for a less gummy rice in the end. Now put two cups of water in a small saucepan, dump in yur one cup of wet rice and add one tablespoon of coconut oil. Now the first time you make this don’t use coconut oil – just use canola oil. But if you really like this dish, go buy yurself some coconut oil. I say this because coconut oil iddn’t cheap. You gotta know there’s something you like to eat that uses it before springing for a jar of coconut oil. But I hate to tell ya, that’s one of Reba’s special ingredients that really makes a difference in flavor. 


Put the saucepan on a medium-high stove top until it boils, then turn the heat down as far as it will go, put a lid on that rice and forget about it for 18 minutes, after which time, you’ll take the lid off, make sure you can’t see hide ner hair of any water, and then put the lid back on the rice, turn the heat off and just let it sit there awaitin’ further instructions.


Now move on to the fish. I recommend purchasing a bag of frozen tilapia or salmon that has four portions individually wrapped. I found mine near the fish sticks in my local Wal-Mart. It costs under $4 and that’s pretty dern cheap for fish. Line a flat pan, like a cookie sheet, with foil. Plop that thawed portion of filleted, skinless fish on it and coat the top of the fish with either orange marmalade, apricot jam or honey. Last time I made this, I used pepper jelly, so if yur great aunt gave you a Christmas gift basket with a small jar of pepper jelly in it and you thought, “What in world would I ever use pepper jelly for?” well, this would be it. Pop that fish in the preheated oven and set yur timer for 15 minutes. 


Now while the rice and fish are doing their thing, let’s move to the veggies. You may have figured out that you could buy a bag of frozen stir fry veggies instead of getting all those veggie ingredients I listed. That will be just fine and might even be cheaper than buying all those ingredients. Either way, you want to start with thawed veggies, chop the peppers and julienne the carrots if you need to. Juli –what? Julienne. I don’t know who the heck Juli is (well, I do have a sister named Juli, but I sincerely doubt this cut of carrots is named after my sister!). A julienned carrot looks like a skinny little stick of carrot – about two to three inches long and about as wide as a chopstick. Now in a large skillet – or wok, if yur a weenie and own a wok – heat over medium-high the teaspoon of olive oil for about 30 seconds then toss yur veggies in the pan (or wok!) and churn ‘em around until they’re coated with the oil. Now add yur minced garlic and spice and agitate the mixture a little more. After about three to four minutes of aggitatin’ once a minute, add yur vinegar and soy sauce and agitate and cook for one minute more. OK, turn off the heat.


Let’s put it all together. Get a large bowl, like a soup bowl, and put in half of the rice. Now pile on yur veggies and by this time, that buzzer on the fish should be goin’ off. Plop that hot fish right on top and add chopsticks – or not! If you want to spice this dish up, sprinkle some crushed red peppers on top (the kind you put on pizza). 


You may have noticed, I had you make twice as much rice as you needed. There was a good reason for that. Check back on my Reba Ray page at next week and we’ll fix us some healthy fried rice – yes, with week-old rice and yur gonna love it!

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One thought on “Crazy Asian Stir Fry

  1. I can barely cook an egg, and I both cooked and enjoyed this recipe. I’m your fan now, Reba.

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