In my never-ending quest to use the 60 pounds of zucchini my wonder plant has produced I have trolled the internet and my cookbook library to find a wide variety of preparations that showcase the versatility of this vegetable. (Click here for the ever-growing list of recipes I’ve posted.) So far, I think this is my favorite. I used what I had on hand, and you can do the same. It’s a very simple preparation: a quick stir fry of onions, garlic, carrots and zucchini, with a splash of sesame oil and oyster sauce at the end. The key is in the technique. Cut the ingredients uniformly so they cook evenly. Get the oil very hot and keep the veggies moving in the pan so they don’t burn. And most importantly, don’t overcook them! You want the zucchini to have a little bite left.
I served this with sweet and sour Asian meatballs and rice. I’m working on refining the meatballs recipes, which I will share when I’m satisfied with it. In the meantime, this dish would complement nearly any Asian-style main course. The delicate zucchini and the powerful oyster sauce allow this dish to stand up to but not overpower a wide range of preparations, from steamed fish to beef with black bean sauce. The zucchini will simply taste strong next to the fish and delicate next to the beef. Take your pick. If you prefer to eat a single all-in-one dish, as I often do, you could stir fry some chicken and pour it with the zucchini over a bowl of rice or noodles. However you eat this I hope it will become your new favorite, too.
Time: 20 minutes, total (nearly all hands-on with short windows for clean-up)
Yield: 4 servings
1 medium to large zucchini
2 cloves garlic
2T oil (canola or peanut)
1t toasted sesame oil
1T oyster sauce
1. Chop all the veggies at once and set aside. Slice onion stem to tip in ¼” slices. Mince garlic. Put onion and garlic in a bowl. Slice zucchini lengthwise and then in ½” slices. Place in a bowl. Cut the carrot into matchsticks (i.e., julienne) using a knife or mandoline and add to zucchini.
2. Heat a large fry pan or wok on high (one click short of the max) for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add canola (or peanut) oil. Swirl and heat for 30 seconds.
4. Add garlic and onion and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
5. Add the zucchini and carrot. Stir to coat with oil and cook for 4-5 minutes, scraping and moving the veggies around every 30 seconds or so.
6. When the veggies have started to soften add the sesame oil and oyster sauce. Stir to coat and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Remove from the pan and serve.