Living alone can be difficult, especially when you hate doing all things domestic like cooking, cleaning, and remembering what bills you’ve paid. Unfortunately, though, you can only buy pre-made food for so long before the people at the store start giving you some seriously judgmental looks, so every once in a while it’s important to cook for yourself.
I live this struggle every day, but slowly I am accumulating a list of things that require minimal effort for reasonable taste and Instagram worthiness. I’ve decided to collect these “recipes” (a word I use loosely because I don’t, like, measure things or plan much ahead of time) and share them to try and help my fellow tired and hungry almost adults. Today I am happy to be posting my very first “AnnamaRecipe,” Lazy Teriyaki-ish Stir-fry.
Stir-fry is probably the most important lazy cooking go-to meal. All you need to do is throw things into a pan and maybe add some sauce and mix it around until it looks cooked/starts smelling burned. Sometimes, though, you want to make it look like you put in a little bit of forethought into your meal to keep up the illusion that you’re a fully functional adult.
Honestly what you put into your stir-fry doesn’t matter that much. Just use whatever you have that hasn’t gone bad. That being said, here is what I used for my stir-fry this afternoon. I like things to be sometimes unreasonably spicy, but if that isn’t for you just don’t put in the spicy stuff.
- Frozen ground turkey. You should always have some ground turkey in your freezer. That’s my life advice for you today.
- Green beans
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow bell pepper
- Oil. Vegetable? Olive? If you’re like me and don’t know the difference it doesn’t matter. I used olive oil because it’s what I can find.
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Other seasonings (This is really up to you. Different things might be available in your kitchen/country. I make do with what I can find here in Japan.)
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Spicy powder (This is a Japanese thing)
- Dried chili peppers (like the things you probably pick out of your kung pao chicken)
1. Boil water and make the spaghetti. I’m trusting you know how to do this. Salt the water if it makes you feel better. Make however much spaghetti you want. I buy mine pre-portioned for maximum laziness so I used 1 portion.
2. Chop the onions. There isn’t an art to this, but I do recommend taking off the outside flaky part first.
3. Throw some oil in a pan with the onions and frozen turkey. Just throw it all in there. It’ll be fine. This is where I’d recommend throwing in some garlic as well. Sadly today my garlic had things growing on it so no garlic for me, but if you have garlic that isn’t busy supporting life chop up like 3 cloves and throw them in as well.
4. Let that cook for a while. It should start to change color. Flip the turkey over occasionally and scrape off the cooked parts so the frozen parts cook faster. Throw some seasoning on it as well, if you want. I went for garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne pepper because that’s what you want attached to the meat.
5. Chop the vegetables and throw them on top. Keep mixing it periodically and keep scraping the cooked turkey off the frozen chunk. At this point you’ll be wondering if this is why people “de-frost” things but hold strong.
6. Throw more seasoning in there. I put in my dried chili peppers at this point. There are no rules, especially if no one else is going to eat it. If you’re cooking for another person, well, they probably knew what they signed up for anyway.
7. So now you’ve got spaghetti and some well-seasoned vegetables and chunks of hopefully no longer frozen turkey, but they are in two different pans! Drain off the water from the spaghetti (using a pan lid if you, like me, do not have one of the tools designed for this task), and just dump it on top of the other stuff.
8. Now you’re getting somewhere! Mix it all together and maybe turn down the heat a bit.
9. It’s time for the sauce. Grab a bowl or a measuring cup or something that holds liquids and allows you some room to mix stuff in. I used a coffee mug. Pour in soy sauce, some brown sugar, chili powder, spicy powder, and whatever else you want. I also added a splash of Tabasco and a few squirts of chili oil along with more cayenne pepper. Mix it all up until everything is dissolved. I didn’t measure anything so I can’t help you with that. Trust yourself.
10. Pour that sauce into the pan and give the whole mess a good mix so that sauce gets on everything.
11. Keep mixing it until the sauce isn’t liquid in the bottom of the pan. When it’s done it should look something like this:
And there you have it! Lazy Teriyaki-ish Stir-fry ready to post on your Instagram and make your friends and family think you have your life together. You probably made enough for two servings, so put half in the fridge and eat it later! Or eat it all now. You do you.
The best part is you didn’t even have to leave your apartment or put on socially acceptable leg coverings.