Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stir fried vegetables with lemon grass

This is a Thai inspired stir fried vegetable dish, infused with lemon grass, garlic and chili flakes. The lemon grass is fresh and vibrant, and the chili gives it the quintessential Thai heat. The sauce is a combination of light and dark soy sauce with a little bit of sweetness from palm sugar to counter the heat from the chili flakes. The palm sugar has a caramel like sweetness and rounds out the sauce beautifully. Finally lime juice is added for that tangy flavor.

This is one of the most flavorful stir fries I have created in a long time and you might agree once you try it.

Stir fried vegetables infused with lemon grass
1 celery stalk
4 oz cremini mushrooms
1 medium zucchini
6 stalks of plump asparagus
15 green beans
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
2 large broccoli stems (I saved them from a broccoli roast that I had made earlier this week) – can substitute 1 head of broccoli instead
5 teaspoons canola oil
3 tablespoons very finely minced fresh lemon grass (tender parts only)
1 ½ tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or cooking sherry
1 teaspoon palm sugar
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 teaspoon lime juice

 Vegetable prep 
  1. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and cut them into quarters.
  2. Cut the zucchini vertically down the middle and then slice each half into thin slices on the diagonal
  3. Cut the celery talk into thin slices on the diagonal – looks prettier and increases the surface area for the sauce to cling to.
  4. Trim the woody ends off the asparagus and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  5. Trim the green beans and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces. Cook them in the microwave covered with a little bit of salted water for 4 minutes.
  6. Peel the fibrous outer skin of the broccoli stems if using and cut the cleaned stem into thin slices on the diagonal. If you are using broccoli florets, separate the florets and cook them in the microwave with a little water for 3 minutes.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, mix the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and the palm sugar till the sugar dissolves. [It can remain a little grainy - the heat from the pan will melt the sugar eventually].
Cooking the stir Fry
  1. Once the vegetables are prepped, heat a wok or a large sauté pan with canola oil over high heat. As soon as the oil is hot, add the minced lemon grass, minced garlic and chili flakes and cook for 30 seconds, ensuring that the garlic does not burn.
  2. Add all the prepped vegetables except for the baby spinach and toss with the lemongrass, garlic and chili mixture. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes till the mushrooms start to brown. Then add the rice wine and the salt and stir. Cook till the wine is absorbed by the vegetables. Add the soy sauce and sugar mixture and mix well into the vegetables. The vegetables will start to take on the color of the dark soy sauce after cooking for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add ½ cup water at this point to create a light sauce and cook for additional 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and finish with the lime juice.
 Serves 3.


  1. Great post!. I'm really loving the stir fry sauce given here because it looks very delicious and healthy. I will show this one to my sister and I'm sure she will love this very much because she really loved vegetables. Thank for sharing this with us.

    1. So glad you like it. It's a pleasure for me to share recipes with people