Homemade Stir-fry Kits

One of my biggest time savers in the kitchen comes from my homemade stir-fry kits.  I’m sure you’ve seen the kits in the grocery store.  They promise to serve four, but in real world conditions (i.e. two hungry teenagers and a 6’3″ spouse), pretty much feeds two.  Or one and a half if my son is going through a growth spurt.  And while these store-bought kits are fast and easy, the cost for one, let alone two can price out somewhere around $18.  And if you read the back of the box, there are very few that don’t sound like a chemistry experiment gone terribly, terribly awry.

So to have the convenience of these kits without the cost factor, I decided to make my own and to package them in amounts that made my family satisfied.

The first thing you need is chicken or beef, or whatever meat you want for your kits. When I first made up this tutorial I had chicken so that is what I used. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs to be precise. It doesn’t matter how much chicken you have. I do a package or two at a time. This one was 3.5 pounds.

I seasoned it with salt and pepper and then grilled up the chicken on my George Foreman grill and then cut it into bite-sized pieces and allowed it to cool.

While it was cooling I took out my package of stir-fry veggies.

You can, of course, individually cut up whatever veggies you want, but I’ve found the frozen mixed veggies to be the most cost-effective and quickest way of doing this. I packaged the veggies into quart size baggies.

I then threw these baggies back in the fridge while I mixed up my sauces.

For your sauce you have a couple of choices. For a dark sauce combine 1 cup of soy sauce (I use a gluten free, low sodium, no preservatives type), 1/4 cup of honey (or 1/4 cup brown sugar), 1 inch of fresh ginger peeled and grated (or 1/4 cup ground ginger), and 2 large cloves of garlic peeled and minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp dried garlic). I usually use fresh on the garlic and ginger, but I was out of fresh ginger. I had some leftover sesame seeds from the last time we got takeout so I dumped a tablespoon of those in, too. For a light sauce use chicken broth instead of soy sauce.

Combine ingredients for sauce in a bowl and whisk together.

Whisk the sauce for each packet by itself. If you combine it all together you may not have an even distribution of ingredients as the honey can make things sluggish. You can either dump this into a baggy or pour into a 1.5 cup plastic container. Freeze the sauce upright.

Put your cooled meat on a cookie sheet and freeze so the pieces don’t stick together. Once frozen package up your chicken. We eat a lot of meat so for the four of us I put one pound of chicken in a baggy. You can do less. Put one package of chicken into a gallon size freezer bag, then add a bag of the veggies (or two bags if you want more veggies) to the gallon size bag and finish it off with a bag of frozen sauce. Fasten the baggy shut and label it.

When you are ready to make this, first take out the sauce and put it in a hot water bath to thaw. It probably won’t be completely frozen if you use honey. Heat oil in a wok or deep saute pan on medium high heat. I use peanut oil or olive oil depending on what I have. When oil is hot add the frozen chicken packet, breaking it up if the pieces are stuck together, and stir for 3 to 5 minutes until chicken is thawed and hot. Add frozen veggie packet and stir for about 3 to 5 minutes until veggies are thawed and hot. Your sauce should now be thawed. Dump into pan and stir for one minute. (If you want a thicker sauce you can add a tbsp of corn starch now, but I don’t bother). Turn heat down to low and cover, simmering for 2 minutes. It’s done.

Other recipes to prepare the same way:

Pork Stir Fry

1 pound cheap pork loin or boneless chops, grilled (s&p) and cut into bite sized pieces
4 green onions
6 ounces snow peas
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut thin on the diagonal
8 ounces fresh or canned bamboo shoots

Sauce:
1 cup low sodium, gluten free soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Beef and Peppers Stir-Fry Kit.

1 pound chuck steak, grilled (s&p) and cut into bite sized pieces
1 white onion cut into strips
2 cups of bell pepper strips (red, yellow, orange)

Sauce:
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup low sodium, gluten free soy sauce
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Chicken and Vegetables Stir-Fry Kit

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, grilled (s&p) and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups mixed vegetables (snow peas, carrots cut on the diagonal, broccoli, cauliflower, celery cut on the diagonal, 1 can water chestnuts)
1 regular yellow onion cut into strips

Sauce:
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup low sodium, gluten free soy sauce
¼ cup honey

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2 thoughts on “Homemade Stir-fry Kits

  1. That is a *fantastic* idea. My husband and I are eating low-carb and I’ve been making a lot of meat in the slow-cooker, which is getting a little boring. I happen to have several packages of chicken thighs and a lot of broccoli in the chest freezer from our last warehouse store run. I’ll have to put this on my to-do list. Thank you!

  2. LuckyRobin says:

    You’re welcome! We eat a high protein/controlled carbohydrate diet. Basically meat, lots of low glycemic vegetables, and one fruit or other high carb a day. So having these on hand means we are much more likely to find something fast to make in the freezer than take a swing through a drive-thru somewhere and consume its high carb/high chemical food.

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