Being students, we don’t always have the time to whip up a gourmet meal. But if, like me, you’re not a big fan of frozen/microwave meals there’s nothing quicker or easier than a stir-fry.
I usually like to marinate the meat for a couple of hours in yoghurt, lemon juice and garlic paste beforehand just so it’s extra juicy and tender, but this isn’t necessary. Skip if you’re in a rush.
– 1 chicken breast fillet cut into strips (or alternatively beef can be used)
– 1 finely chopped garlic clove
– 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (regular oil works just as well but I love the flavour of this one)
– Handful of pasta shells
– Handful each of broccoli and cauliflower
– 1 pepper (I like to use red)
– 2 spring onion stalks
– 1/2 green chilli
– 2/3 tablespoons soy sauce
– 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
– Splash of lemon juice (if you didn’t already use it in the marinade)
– Red chilli flakes, salt and crushed black pepper to taste
– Chop up the cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, spring onions and green chillies and set aside for later.
– Boil the pasta in a separate pot, drain and set aside for later.
– Heat the oil and garlic in a wok till it starts to turn golden brown before adding the meat.
– Grill the strips on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked the whole way through.
– Add in the chopped vegetables and the soy sauce, stirring every few seconds. I prefer light soy sauce to dark as I find the later a bit too sweet, but either works.
– Sprinkle over the salt, pepper and crushed red chilli flakes. I would go easy on the salt as soy sauce already contains some.
– If you did not marinate the meat then add a splash of lemon juice at this stage for a little tang.
– Add in the boiled pasta shells.
– Pour over the oyster sauce while continuing to stir for another minute or two and serve.
Stir-fry should be a student staple in my opinion. It’s healthy, easy and never gets boring because you can alternate beef for chicken and change up the vegetables and sauces. A heaping plate of this is the perfect post-workout meal.
To mix things up I sometimes use Tesco’s fresh filled cheese, tomato and basil tortellini in place of regular pasta shells. You can also try using a Blue Dragon Oyster and Spring Onion stir-fry sauce packet, which is more flavourful than pure oyster sauce. They have a whole range of sauces; everything from Teriyaki to Schezwan Tomato and they are all delicious. Some alternative vegetables I have used include green beans, carrots, mushrooms, baby corn, onions, mange tout, tomatoes or asparagus. It’s hard to go wrong really. Happy experimenting!