My Slow Cooker Stir Fry: The Backstory
I am a big fan of stir fry, namely because I can pump it full of vegetables, and it always hits the spot. Meat is optional, and tofu is a traditional east Asian addition—so in our mostly vegetarian home, stir fry is a weekly event.
However, raising a two-year-old means that my day is full, and there are some days when I know I won't have time to cook the healthy, home-cooked meal I want to make. For those days I am grateful for this recipe—my slow cooker stir fry. Below is my technique, including my homemade stir-fry sauce (which can be substituted for store-bought when time is really of the essence).
- Chicken (thigh works great), as much or as little as you like
- Vegetables, any work, but we like mushrooms, cabbage, onion, carrot, broccoli, and summer squash.
- Stir fry sauce, (See below recipe or use the store bought kind)
- Rice or grains, cooked ahead of time
Simple Stir Fry Sauce
I usually make my own stir fry sauce. It's super simple, and I always have the ingredients on hand. Here's my mix:
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or any you have)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (use honey or agave, if you prefer)
- 4 grated cloves of garlic (or two tablespoons garlic powder)
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated or powder, optional)
Mix together and add to any dish!
How to Put Together Your Slow Cooker Stir Fry
- First, plug in the slow cooker, turn it on (low if you've got all day, high if you've got just a few hours), and coat it with cooking spray.
- Chop the chicken any way you like. If you have only a small window for cooking, you'll want to chop it small. Note: If you are omitting chicken, skip this step. If you are using tofu, add it here.
- Add the vegetables in order of which need to cook longest. The heat tends to be more intense toward the bottom of the pot, so chicken (or other meat) on the bottom, followed by the sturdiest vegetables, and so forth.
- Pour 3/4 of a cup (for a full pot) of stir-fry sauce on top, adding just a couple tablespoons of water to help generate a bit of steam.
- Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
- Enjoy with rice or a starch of your choice!