Thai Stir-fry – Confirming a Food Photography Rule

I love Thai food.  I think this fondness is rooted in the coconut milk that tends to be in most Thai food that I have had.  It adds a lovely creaminess to the dish, and really just liking coconut doesn’t hurt 😉

It was during a Thai food craving that I decided to try making my own Thai-inspired stir-fry, complete with coconut milk!

Click here for the recipe I used or scroll to the bottom of the post.

A good stir-fry is a great idea for a quick meal.  You can pretty much chop up whatever veggies you have on hand, search your freezer for some frozen ones if you want to offer even more variety, add some spice, some sauce and  you’re ready to go.  Vegetarian or laced with meat, it all works!

This stir-fry turned out to be quite easy and therefore, I have few pictures to share.  I got so involved with the creative aspect of adding whatever I had on hand that I forgot about the camera. 

This is a good thing though.  

I’ve heard that brown food doesn’t necessarily photograph well.  It is said that such food doesn’t look quite as appetizing as bright fresh greens, reds, oranges.  I can’t disagree….See for yourself….

It was honestly really, really good!  But the picture just doesn’t do it justice….

Preparation?  A lot of chopping.  I bought a few things to add to the stir-fry such as fresh ginger and eggplant, not necessarily items I always have on hand.  In addition to those, I chopped up zucchini, onions, celery, peppers, garlic, and bok choy.

I sauteed the onion, garlic, chili flakes and ginger in a bit of oil for a few minutes to soften them up and, while they were frying, I mixed up my sauce.

Again, brown goop…not so photo friendly, but still delicious!

It was easy to mix initially, but it then took some time to perfect.  The ingredients included coconut milk, soy sauce, lemon juice, chili flakes, and brown sugar.

I had to keep tasting and adding more soy or lemon juice to get the flavour just right.

When my onions were translucent, I went ahead and added all my chopped vegetables, including a little bit of my sauce into the fry pan, and let it continue to saute for another 4-5 minutes to bring out the taste in the veggies and allow them to brown slightly…yeah, there’s that “brown” theme happening again!

Sauteeing the veggies

Once the veggies were somewhat sautéed and smelling good, I added my remaining sauce, covered the pan and let it simmer. I let it go for awhile while I waited for my rice but the simmering time will vary…depending on how tender you want your veggies.

So, in the meantime, steam up some rice and slice up your basil leaves.  

Put on rice.  Top with basil and eat!

The result is a fast, easy, slightly creamy, slightly spicy awesome stir-fry!  Just avoid taking pictures ;P


    • 1/2 purple onion, chopped
    • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
    • 1-2 thumb-size pieces ginger, sliced into long, skinny pieces
    • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
    • 1 medium-size carrot, sliced
    • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
    • 2-3 sticks of celery, chopped
    • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
    • 1 small eggplant, cubed
    • 2-3 cups baby bok choy (leaves left whole if not too large, otherwise cut in half or thirds)
    • fresh basil leaves
    • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    • 2/3 cup coconut milk
    • 3+ Tbsp. soy sauce
    • 3+1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    • 1/3 to 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
    • 2+1/2 tsp. brown sugar


    1. Combine all ‘stir fry sauce’ ingredients together and be sure to taste the sauce.  The coconut milk should kick in at the end, with the salty or spicy noticed first. I ended up adding more soy and lemon juice as I found my sauce to be somewhat creamier than I wanted, but really preference is up to you.
    2. Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes over med heat for a few minutes, then add your vegetables, allowing them to brown just slightly.
    3. Add your stir-fry sauce and bring to a simmer.  Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes or so (my time varied as I simmered the mixture until my vegetables were tender). The mixture will remain pretty saucy, but it is meant to.
    4. Finally add the bok choy. Continue to simmer until bok choy is cooked but still bright green with some crispness (2-3 minutes more).
    5. Remove from heat and do one last taste-test. Top with fresh basil and serve over rice.
NOTE: The original recipe which was my reference can be found HERE.

About Amanda Pants

A bit odd, a bit eccentric, a bit loud. Kinda goth, kinda alt, kinda geeky. Crochet/cooking/reading/writing/big stompy boots/journals and a Cheshire grin! All recorded on Wordpress ;) Learning to cook with a Dash of Daring and a Pinch of Panic: Sewing and fibre arts, creations made by moi: Random rants and other bits and pieces: View all posts by Amanda Pants

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