Guys, you’re cooking dinner tonight!

Invite her over for dinner, a dinner you cooked???

Now I do know that most guys are not that handy in the kitchen, through no fault of your own, “cooking” doesn’t feature heavily in “raising boys 101”.

I also realise there is not much on the market to teach men how to cook up simple and impressive meals. Just imagine yourself inviting over a hot date for dinner which you cooked yourself, oh yes boys, full brownie points to be had!

I’m going to give you a recipe and step-by step instructions (as if you had never stepped into a kitchen before, hence the long looking post) to make a fast and easy meal that looks like a chef made it but it was only little Ole you. It’s a Stir-fry and Rice, If you’ve had some cooking experience, you will breeze right through.

What you will need you can borrow from mum’s kitchen, you might already have or will be buying since you are probably now planning to cook yourself up a storm in the future.

What you will need to Cook with

  • 7 inch (diameter) pot with lid cooking
  • A Medium frying pan
  • 2 largish mixing spoons
  • A small chopping board
  • A knife
  • A potato peeler
  • A table-spoon and a teaspoon
  • A spare plate to put your veggies on after chopping.

You can buy these things at any major supermarket in the kitchen ware section or any large store like Target, Kmart or Big W.

I didn’t include these in the photo but 2 plates, 2 forks and knives and two wine glasses or normal glasses plus some napkins for serving and setting the table.

Food Ingredients

  • 1kg packet of long grain white rice plain rice will do but aromatic rice like Basamati or Jasmine are really nice.
  • Small bottle of Vegetable, Canola or Olive oil (your choice)
  • Hot water from tap 1 and a half cups
  • Salt for the rice (usually near the spices section in the supermarket)
  • 500 grams (half a kilo) of beef stir fry strips (get them from your butcher or the meat section in your supermarket)
  • Season all or steak seasoning (go to the spices section in the supermarket)
  • Jar of Crushed garlic (spices section in supermarket also)
  • Half a peeled onion (brown or white)
  •  Carrot (half) peeled
  • Broccoli  1 bunch
  • Green beans a small handful
  • Button mushrooms 5 or so
  • Small can of corn kernels or baby corn (canned section of supermarket).
  • 1 bottle of oyster sauce we will be using half a cup (usually found in the sauce section in the supermarket)

You can use different veggies but try to get hard veggies as anything leafy or juicy will wilt and go mushy in the frying pan.

How to make Rice (approx. 20 minutes)

  • Start with your small pot with the lid and add 1 cup of rice with a splash (approx. two tablespoons of oil) put your stove on the highest heat setting and with one of your large spoons begin to stir the rice to fry it evenly. It will begin to turn whiter than it usually is.
  • When most of the rice is white, throw in your cup and a half of hot water, yes it will make a sizzle sound and start furiously bubbling.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the boiling rice and stir.
  • Stand there and watch until the water evaporates and you start seeing little holes forming, when this happens turn your heat down to the lowest possible setting and put the lid on the pot.

I’ve burnt many pots of rice in my life until I realised that standing there for 3-5 minutes, which is the time it takes for the water to evaporate, is waaay better than scrubbing a burnt pot and starting over.

  • After you put the lid on the pot and turn your heat down to the lowest setting, start your timer for 15 minutes, this is when you can turn of the rice.

It should be nicely steamed and taste firm, not mushy (you need to add less water) or hard (add a splash of water and steam on low for another 5 minutes).

Now you can start your stir-fry while your rice is steaming

Stir-fry Part 1 & 2 (approx. ½ hour)

Grab your chopping board, knife and potato peeler and wash your veggies. As you chop each veggie put them on the veggie plate in sections (that means don’t mix them) this makes them easier to throw into the stir-fry in the correct cooking order. The idea is to throw in the harder veggies first so that they cook longer.

1. Veggie prep

  • 1/2 Onion peel and finely chop, wear glasses and breathe through your mouth, it makes you cry and you don’t want puffy eyes and flowing snot during your date.
  • 1/2 Carrot, peel and chop your piece of carrot in half lengthwise, then quarter length wise also. carrots Hold the quarters all together then chop them into about 2mm thick bits. Don’t worry if they’re not even, stir-fry is very forgiving.

                       You should end up with thiscarrot bits

  • Mushrooms get chopped usually in half for small ones or quarters for large (yes the stem too)
  • Broccoli cut off the main stem then with your hands separate the little branches, if you think a piece is too large, chop it in half or quarters.
  • Green beans cut the tips of and section into 2-3 centimetre bits
  • Corn kernels open can, drain liquid and tip them onto your veggie plate.

 2. How to cook the Stir-fry (“method” in recipe speak)

  • When all veggies are chopped, put the frying pan on the stove on the highest setting and add 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Wait until the oil is very hot, which means if you throw a piece of onion in it will sizzle.
  • Add Beef to hot pan stir it around to separate and until it turns from pink to brown.
  • When cooking beef add a few shakes of Season all or Steak seasoning
  • Add the onions and fry until they turn translucent and add ½ teaspoon of crushed garlic, stir.
  • Add the hard veggies such as the carrots ( we want them to cook a little longer) and stir
  • Add mushrooms and stir
  • Add a half cup of oyster sauce and mix all the ingredients together. You will not need to add salt to the stir-fry as the oyster sauce is salty enough.
  • Add broccoli, green beans and corn last as they will only take a few minutes to cook (broccoli and green beans should be crisp to bite when done and turn a brighter green, try them before you turn of the stove) stir until they are covered in sauce.

You are done!

Serve the rice on the plate first then make a little dip in the center and put the stir-fry on top, voila you are the sexiest guy on the planet right now, put that to good use.

A few important notes

  •  Find out if your date likes stir-fry but most importantly if she is allergic to seafood (oyster sauce has oysters, but doesn’t taste like it), a nut allergy is also important because a lot of ingredients have traces of nuts in them (yes even ones you wouldn’t think) I wouldn’t want your date to turn into a “hitch” situation!
  • Add wine to the meal or your beverage of choice and get some strawberries and ice-cream for dessert.
  • Meat can be left out or substituted with pieces of tofu and rice can be substituted with cooked egg noodles, just throw them in with the stir-fry at the end and add more oyster sauce.

Let me know how it went or if you have ever cooked on a date, leave a comment, or share the recipe with a friend.

Photo by Evan Photo Extremist “Formal Cannibalism”(cropped by Lizzie)CC BY-ND 2.0

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