Stir-fry station a doorway to creative culinary expression

After two years of awkwardly passing by in shame, I finally used the Deece’s stirfry station. In a David-and-Goliath moment, I stood, pan in hand with assorted vegetables, noodles, tofu and cheese, while the sizzling vapors rose from the heated surface. In one sweet and swift move, I tossed my meal onto the station top and let it cook. And then I was making stir-fry.

As a new novice of the stir-fry lifestyle, I can recommend others take this path as well. It’s a pretty simple process, to be honest. I just took handfuls of whatever looked appealing from the ingredients, put them on the pan and let the magic happen.

The stir-fry station is a chameleon of instructions, with each attempt having its own different steps. In a basic, skeletal format, I will list them.

First, collect the ingredients. A menagerie of options, you can have cheese, several different kinds of noodles, peppers and even add a few items from the salad bar if you’re feeling devious.

Next, wait. Because of this popular staple to the Deece lifestyle, you won’t easily find a station available. One might be broken or some rookie might trip and spill their meal. Fortunately, I did not do that this time.

Once you are at the station, adjust the temperature on the machine to your intended desire. I essentially approached the station and worked with whatever was already set, but you don’t have to be that reckless. Temperatures range from low to high, so choose wisely.

Depending on the order you add your ingredients, the next step is to cook the food. Let it sit. Maybe take a spatula and stir it around for appearances while you casually check over your shoulder to see if anyone is watching this (or so the food won’t get stuck). Leave it as long or as little as you like.

The next and quintessential step is transferring your food from pan to plate. Many have erred here but if you tilt the pan slowly and precisely, the meal should faithfully guide itself to the plate.

You may think all is said and done, but it is important to accede to the modus vivendi of the stir-fry life and clean up. Next to the stations is a wooden board where one can dispense of their used pan and spatula. Part of the stir-fry life is communicating with the others around you and ensuring that each person can freely and effortlessly use the space for their creative culinary masterpieces.

The important and crucial element to a good stir-fry meal is to be patient. As delicious as food might be, you must cook everything properly. So wait until it at least looks safe. If you’re cooking meat (which I’m not, because I’m a vegetarian, thank you very much), be certain that the meat is cooked all the way through. That means that anything that looks bloody or raw is undercooked, unless that’s your thing.

Like any good dish, there are ways to make a stir-fry meal with a touch of personality. While I was making my dish, I overheard some of the more experienced stir-fryers comparing the sauces they poured while their food was cooking. I went with balsamic vinaigrette, since it tastes marvelous on salad. It was definitely a unique experience to taste pasta that had been soaked in balsamic vinaigrette. With a million different ingredients though, you can individualize your dish to make it stand out from the rest.

Since this was my first time using the stir-fry station, naturally I made a few faux-pas. Word to the wise, not all foods cook equally. After its rough-and-tumble with the stir-fry station, my pan had residue of the cheese and burnt olives I foolishly cooked too long. With most toppings that burn quickly, like cheese or olives, I would recommend adding these ingredients later in the process instead of in a smorgasbord of grub.

I believe my meal was successful. I haven’t felt any stomach pain or food-borne illness symptoms. As I endeavor to increase my culinary expertize, now is the time to wonder what great heights to strive for, what new ingredients to use and what skills define a master chef.

Maybe I’ll make eggs next time.

 

Matt Stein/The Miscellany News

 

Matt Stein/The Miscellany News

 

2 Comments

  1. It’s a decent article, but it could have benefited from an increased use of explanation points. Quite honestly, this publication in general has suffered from the underuse of explanation points. Explanation points are beneficial if you want to improve your writing. They give your article pizzaz! They’re sexy! Your readers have been waiting for them. I have talked to about fifty people and all of them agree that your newspaper could benefit from more explanation points!

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