Peanut Thai Stir Fry

Here’s a great one-pot meal that will satisfy your hunger, use up some leftovers, and is highly malleable. Best of all, it seems complicated, but is way easier than pie. In all, it should take about 10 minutes of prep and 15 minutes to cook. 

Why you need:

A meat: I like chicken or a nice cut of steak. Rough cut it into chunks. 

  • Vegetables: red pepper and onion are musts for this dish. But feel free to throw in carrots, broccoli, squash—whatever you think compliments the flavor. Chop them into good sized pieces that won’t cook too fast. Think about the size of a silver dollar. 
  • Spices: a few shakes of red pepper flakes, a dash of chili powder, garlic salt, turmeric. I almost always throw in some fresh whole basil leaves. 
  • Peanut sauce: Look at the label and make sure there’s not high fructose corn syrup in it
  • Actual peanuts

Now for the easy part: 

Heat the meat, baby. I like to season the chicken or steak for a couple of hours before I throw them in the cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of EVO. As the meat sizzles use a sturdy spatula to cut it up some more (this is more for the chicken; beef will be harder to divide with a spatula so make sure you cut it into smaller chunks). 

Now this recipe is all about staging—when you all one ingredient and then the next. You want the meat to be tender and the vegetables to be meaty. The nuts should be crunchy. This is all to say, you can’t walk away from this dish while it cooks. 

Add the onions first. Let the edges get transluscent. Then add the peppers and whatever other veggies you want. Remember, if it is a tougher root vegetable like a carrot, you’ll want to add it sooner and cut it thinner. 

Saute and continue to tinker with the seasoning. 

Pour on the sauce. Get lost in the sauce. Use that sauce like you mean it. Churn the meat and veggie and reduce the heat, but let the sauce really soak in, become one with the rest of the dish. Get downright saucy. The sauce is what makes this meal (which is why you should be picky about it). 

Now add the peanuts and fresh basil. The basil will wilt and the peanuts should warm through. Once there’s some thickening of the sauce and everything—all the ingredients are warmed through—it’s ready to serve. Use a slotted spoon to serve if you’re not as into sauce as I am. Or use a damned ladle if you love the sauce. Serve with bread or over rice. Or eat it right out of the pan to avoid more dishes. 

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