Wednesday Night Fake Away – The House Special

bowl of stir fry

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Publish date

11th May 2022


Dr. Kate McCann

Wednesday Night Fake-Away:  The House Special

Stir-fries are quick and easy ways to get more vegetables in our diets.  We call my quick stir-fries “The House Special” jokingly in my house.  These recipes eliminate packaged sauces with the added salt and sugar.  I’ve done 3 version here to give you an idea of how versatile this can be, depending on your confidence in the kitchen or the amount of time you have.

Vegetable Stir Fry with Bells and Whistles. 

  • 4 tablespoons Cashew nuts
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 350 g firm tofu
  • Soy sauce (low salt preferable)
  • cornflour
  • sesame oil
  • runny honey
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8-10 cm ginger, grated
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 chilis, chopped
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 small package of baby sweetcorn, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 1 lime
  • Brown basmati rice or whole wheat noodles
  1. Open tofu, wrap in clean towel, and press under heavy plate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  3. Cut tofu into cubes and toss with little sesame oil and coat with cornflour. Place cubes on crisper or baking tray. Cook for 25 minutes, turning once of not using crisper tray.
  4. If you are cooking brown rice, put on the rice at this point.
  5. When tofu is done, remove and place in large bowl.
  6. Add dash of sesame oil to hot wok. Stir-fry sesame seeds and nuts for 30-60 seconds. Tip out into bowl with tofu.  Drizzle over with honey and gently mix.
  7. To hot wok, add dash of sesame oil, ginger, garlic, spring onions. Stir-fry 30-60 seconds.
  8. Add vegetables and stir-fry 4 minutes. Add in dash of soy sauce and squeeze in lime juice.
  9. Serve the tofu and vegetables over the rice or noodles.

Keep it Simpler Veggie Stir Fry

  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Cashew (1 tablespoon per person)
  • Sesame seeds (1 tablespoon per person)
  • Selection of mixed fresh stir fry vegetables, either packaged or your choice of sliced fresh veggies such as baby corn, broccoli, peppers, bamboo sprouts, edamame, onions
  • Garlic 1 clove/person (can use frozen)
  • Chili ½ chili per person (can use frozen), more for heat/tast
  • Ginger 1-2 cm/person
  • Lime
  • Whole wheat noodles or Brown rice


  1. Cook your rice or noodles as per package instructions, set aside.
  2. Add dash sesame oil to hot pan/wok. Cook seeds and nuts for 30-60 seconds. Tip out into bowl and set aside.
  3. Add dash of sesame oil to hot pan/wok. Add chili, garlic, and ginger and any onions for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Add in veggies and stir-fry for around 4 minutes. Add dash soy sauce. Squeeze in lime juice near the end.
  5. Tip in noodles, if using, for the last minute or serve over rice.


The Basic

I love the basic option because, with a little preparing, this can be the one that you have the stuff on hand in the freezer or cupboard for a last-minute 15 minute dinner on a busy night.   This one is up to you.  I’ll give you some guidelines for success.

The cupboard:  sesame oil, soy sauce, noodles or rice, cashews, sesame seeds

The freezer: bag of stir-fry veggies, frozen garlic, frozen chili, frozen ginger (while you can buy already chopped frozen garlic and chili, ginger is harder to find but fresh ginger and chili freeze really well though). (frozen prawns- optional)

  1. Cook your rice or noodles and set aside.
  2. In a wok (or large frying pan), heat dash of sesame oil. Add the seeds and nuts (if not using prawns) . Heat 30-60 seconds and then tip out into bowl.
  3. Get that wok/pan hot! Add dash of sesame oil, add it chili, garlic, and ginger.  Heat for 30-60 seconds.
  4. If you are using prawns instead of seeds/nuts, add them now. Cook for length of time suggested on package.
  5. Add in the bag of veggies and stir-fry for length of time suggested on package (usually around 6 minutes). A squeeze of lime at the end is tasty if there is one handy in the fruit bowl.
  6. Tip back in the seeds/nuts (if using) and mix. Serve over noodles or rice.

Nutritional notes on the Basic:  you don’t need an animal-based protein here, but many people are used to it. Using 1 tablespoon of cashew nuts and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds per person is healthy option for legume protein. Ideally, use brown rice or whole wheat noodles to increase fibre intake but since this is basic, whatever is in the cupboard will do. While soy sauce does have sodium, we are using only a dash here.

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