I am an avid cook, but I know when to admit one of my recipes is not up to par. It seems like this dish lacks a certain…something…that is present in restaurant versions of it. I wish I could articulate this better, but I suppose if I could then I wouldn’t be having this problem.
The dish in question is a fairly typical, generic Chinese stir-fry dish. The recipe I use is sort of an amalgamation of various Chinese stir-fry dishes I’ve found online.
First, I marinate the meat for a few hours in rice wine vinegar. When a few hours have passed, I preheat the pan and spray it lightly with cooking oil in an aerosol can. Then I toss the (diced) meat into the pan and stir it around. About halfway through, I add it a few tablespoons of soy sauce and continue stirring until the meat is nearly cooked all the way through. Then I add in the vegetables (towards the end here so that they stay crisp). I continue stirring and add powdered garlic, onion, ginger, and red pepper flakes, then another few tablespoons of soy sauce.
Now, I quite like this dish, but I think it could also be very much improved. It seems like the restaurant versions of kung pa/garlic chicken/broccoli stir fry/etc. all have something distinct that I am lacking. I want to say that this mystery ingredient(s) mellows the soy sauce a little, but I’m not sure if that’s the most accurate culinary term here.
I know this has been more than vague, but if you have any suggestions to offer, they’d be greatly appreciated.