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Food & Drink


We are a sucker for a great “catch-all” recipe here at Budget Bytes, and this basic vegetable stew is the ideal illustration. Whether you’re using leftover veggies from your freezer or an assortment of frozen stir-frying vegetables doesn’t matter. Making a simple and quick stir-fry of vegetables is a simple way to prepare dinner. Alongside the simple recipe, I’ve got a lot of ideas for additions and flavor changes in the event you’re looking to change the flavor!


I’ve included a simple brown stir-fry sauce below. There are many ways to customize the flavoring to meet your tastes. Here are some suggestions:

To make it more spicy, Add a tablespoon or two of chili garlic sauce or gochujang

To make it even more decadent, mix in a few teaspoons of oyster sauce

Create a sweet and tangy flavor by mixing in a few tablespoons of hoisin sauce.

Make it tropical. Use the juice of a pineapple instead (add some lesser brown sugar).


There are two critical tips for making stir-fry at home

Make use of a large wok or skillet and high temperatures. If the pan you use isn’t big enough, there isn’t enough surface to allow the steam to evaporate so that the vegetables will become soupy. Also, if the temperature isn’t sufficient, the moisture won’t fade quickly enough, and the vegetables will become runny.

Do not overcook your vegetables. You want your vegetables to be soft and vibrantly colored. You can cook them for a bit longer after the sauce has been added; however, if you cook them excessively in the initial stages, you’ll end up with limp vegetables with a dull hue.


Stir Fry Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce ($0.24)

1/4 cup of water ($0.00)

Two tablespoons brown sugar ($0.08)

1 tsp toasted sesame oil ($0.10)

Two cloves of garlic, chopped ($0.16)

1 tsp fresh ginger grated ($0.10)

1 Tbsp cornstarch ($0.03)


3/4 lb. broccoli ($1.34)

Two carrots ($0.33)

Eight oz. mushrooms ($1.69)

Eight oz. sugar snap peas ($2.99)

One small onion ($0.28)

One red bell pepper ($1.50)

Two tablespoons cooking oil ($0.16)

1 tsp sesame seeds ($0.06)


Prepare the stir-fry sauce first. In a tiny bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and cornstarch. Put your sauce to one side.

Cut the vegetables into comparable-sized pieces. You can decide if you dice, slice, or cut into whatever other form you like.

Pour the cooking oil into the pan or wok. It should be heated to medium-high. When the oil and pan are hot (but it isn’t smoking), add the most difficult vegetables: broccoli and carrots. Stir and cook for approximately one minute or until the broccoli changes color from dark green to bright.

Next, add the mushroom along with sugar snap peas. Continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes or until the mushrooms become soft.

Then, add the softest vegetables: bell pepper and onions. Continue cooking and stirring until the onion starts to soften.

Give the stir-fry sauce a brief stir, then pour it over the veggies. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce starts to simmer; at that point, it will thicken and appear shiny. Discard the cooked vegetables and remove them from the pan or cook until they reach the desired level of doneness.

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Joseph M. Kay

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