Kitchen-Sink Stir-Fry: Spring Cleaning Your Fridge


It’s hard to think about spring when there’s still snow on the ground in New York. But one must be optimistic — which we are over here in the Let’s Lunch crowd.

Fresh off our breathless postings on aphrodisiac-laced dishes in February, our thoughts immediately turned to warmer times as we debated what to make next for our monthly virtual lunch date.

How about “spring cleaning (the fridge?)” Stephanie over at The Cosmic Cowgirl suggested.

And so, kitchen-sink recipes to help you springclean your fridge it was.

Now, since I have several solid grocers (and one neat butcher) within a 2-minute walk of my Brooklyn apartment, I tend to buy as I cook. (I’ve never really been one to stock up my fridge like there’s no tomorrow, anyhow.)

Nonetheless, there are a few basics that I must always have in my fridge: Bacon, tofu and some sort of ground meat, usually pork or beef.

Bacon is a wonder that must be consumed on its own, in my book. (Or, in a bacon explosion. Or a BLT. Or … I digress.)

But what to do with tofu and ground pork? The possibilities are endless …

With these two ingredients, I like to use a very simple recipe I learned from Erlinda, the executive chef of Chez Tan (otherwise known as my parents’ home in Singapore). Erlinda regularly whips this up for lunch because it’s so easy to make. Served with rice and a vegetable, you’ve got a balanced meal right there.

All you do is fry up some garlic, pork, sliced chili and tofu with a cocktail of oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch and water. (These all happen to be ingredients I regularly keep around the kitchen.) And just under 15 minutes later, you’re sitting down to eat.

If you have other ingredients, you can easily toss them in — scallions, mushrooms or ground beef work well as additions or substitutes. If you like pepper, sprinkle that in, too.

I had been a little hesitant to share this recipe because it’s so simple. But that’s the best thing about kitchen-sink concoctions — they shouldn’t be complicated. You toss everything in, stir them up and serve.

It may not be rocket science but often, the best things in life just don’t have to be.

Enjoy …


If you’d like to join Let’s Lunch, go to Twitter and post a message with the hashtag #Letslunch — or, post a comment below.

And don’t forget to see other Let’s Lunchers’ kitchen-sink recipes below:

Cathy‘s Butternut Squash, Leek & Potato Frittata a.k.a. Refrigettata at Showfood Chef

Danielle‘s Stir-Fried Asparagus & Shrimp at Bon Vivant


Erlinda’s Kitchen-Sink Stir-Fry


1/2 cup minced pork
1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp thinly sliced chili padi (very small, bright-red Asian chilis) Thai bird’s eye chili can be substituted.
1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 1/2 cup water
1 TB oyster sauce

1.5 TB soy sauce
1 TB vegetable oil

1/2 package silken or firm tofu, cut into rectangular strips or 1-inch cubes


If using firm tofu (as pictured above), deep fry the strips in hot oil until they’re browned and crispy. Then, set that aside.

Heat 1 TB oil in wok, add garlic and fry for a minute before adding pork and chili slices. Fry the mixture until meat is half cooked. then add oyster sauce, soy sauce and cornstarch mixture. Stir it all up and fry for a minute to make sure everything is evenly mixed, then add tofu.

Simmer over medium to low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until pork is cooked. Serve with rice.

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