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I’ve had this post on my back burner for a couple of months now as a whole “hey, this year I’m working on my blog” revival post. Yeah, I know, it didn’t quite happen. But what did happen was me starting a workshop on CreativeLive about food styling and food photography by Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple. And I realized one amazing thing today: all my blog pictures totally suck. I mean really suck. Even the ones I thought might look half way decent? They suck.

The sad part? I really like food photography. My husband used to be a chef. I’m from New Orleans and worked in restaurants for umpteen years. Our lives are very centered on food even if we are probably the ideal couple to have a food blog and don’t. I mean seriously, you should see how long it takes us to figure out where we are going to eat on the weekends. It’s pathetic the amount of research that goes into one meal. And then, I don’t understand how people don’t research where they eat. Just going to eat at the most convenient, cheapest choice because it’s acceptable. Well, not to me.

Which leads me to this post. Because food is such a big deal around here, much planning goes into my weekly menus because although I’d love to eat out every night at all the wonderful restaurants we have here in Houston, my budget doesn’t allow for that. Alas, I have to cook. This is a family favorite because 1.) It’s Asian and my family will pretty much eat anything with soy sauce and ginger that’s stir-fried and 2.)It’s stir-fry!!

Okay technically it’s only really one thing, but this is a great dish when you really need to clean out the crisper drawer of those things that might be starting to look a bit questionable or you only have a little bit and not enough for a full side dish. Hence the name “Garbage Stir-Fry” because it’s made from stuff you’re probably going to throw out in another few days.  I normally have carrots on hand because my brother in law buys them to feed the horses and I just buy cabbage because I’ll eventually make this dish. It doesn’t have to be hard. I’ve made it with just meat, cabbage, and garlic. I’d suggest going out of your comfort zone and buying at least the soy sauce, the rice wine and the oyster sauce. Everything else is optional and stuff I have on hand because we frequent the Hong Kong and Korean markets around here.

And I’ll apologize before hand for the pics. There’s only 2, and I like I said I know they suck. I didn’t grab my camera until I had cut everything up, and a certain budding photographer teen wasn’t home to take pics while I was doing the actual cooking. I’ll try to do better next time. Promise.


Make sure you chop and cut up everything before hand. The cooking on this dish goes quick so you want to have everything on hand, including your sauce.


The finished product served over white rice. Yum!

So here’s the recipe. And remember, don’t make it complicated!!

Garbage Stir-Fry

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of meat or some kind of protein (I used beef here but this works with pork, chicken, tofu, shrimp, etc), cut up into bit size pieces or strips across the grain.)
  • About 4 cups of assorted veggies cut up in bite size pieces or strips (I used cabbage, julienne carrot, sliced mushrooms, a red bell pepper cut into strips, and some broccoli florets.)
  • About a 1/2 an onion sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 piece of ginger about the size of the first knuckle of your finger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, serrano or thai chili sliced (optional if you like it spicy)


  • 1/2 cup of beef or chicken stock (canned or homemade)
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  1. Mix all sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Add about a tablespoon of oil of choice to a skillet or wok and heat on high until almost smoking.
  3. Add 1/2 of meat and stir around pan continuously until cooked through. About 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and repeat with other half of meat.
  4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the onion, stirring continuously about 2 minutes or until just starting to turn translucent.
  5. Add garlic, ginger and chilies and stir continuously for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Next add broccoli and/or any other hard veggies that might take a few minutes to cook. Stir continuously for about 3 minutes or until it starts to turn bright green.
  7. Add carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, cabbage and rest of any veggies stirring continuously until just starting to wilt for about 5 minutes,
  8. Add reserved meat.
  9. Give the sauce ingredients a final stir to mix up settled corn starch and add to pan, stirring until mixture starts to bubble and thicken.
  10. Serve over rice and enjoy!!

Like I said, our family loves this dish and since it’s an all in one dish, no veggies to cook on the side. I love one pot meals! Easy to clean up and we rarely have leftovers. Comment below and let me know what variations you and your family try. Enjoy!!