This vibrant dish combines the natural sweetness of carrots with the zing of ginger and the rich depth of balsamic vinegar, creating a sensational side that's as easy to make as it is delightful to savor.
- 1¼teaspoon salt
- 1½pounds carrots, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
- 1tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1tablespoon dry sherry
- 2teaspoons soy sauce (low-sodium if desired)
- ¾teaspoon sugar
- ¼teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2tablespoons peanut or canola oil
- 2tablespoons minced ginger
- 2tablespoons finely chopped chives
- The carrots need to be cut as uniformly as possible so that all the vegetables cook in the same amount of time. If the carrots are skinny (about ½ to ¾ inch in diameter), simply cut them into 2-inch pieces; if they’re medium (about 1 inch in diameter), cut lengthwise in half before cutting into 2-inch pieces; if they’re large (about 1½ to 2 inches in diameter), quarter lengthwise before cutting into 2-inch pieces. Blanching the carrots reduces the amount of oil necessary to stir-fry. Mince the ginger by hand; if you use a grater or microplane, the ginger will be too wet and will spatter in the oil.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, bring 1½ quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add ½ teaspoon of the salt and the carrots and return to a full boil, about 5 minutes. Boil for 2 additional minutes. Drain the carrots in a colander, shaking well to remove excess water. Combine the vinegar, sherry and soy sauce in a cup. Combine the sugar, pepper and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt in a small dish.
- Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and swirling the pan, then add the ginger and stir-fry no more than 10 seconds, until the ginger is fragrant. Add the carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the carrots are well coated in oil and ginger. Swirl the vinegar mixture into the wok, sprinkle with the sugar mixture, and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the carrots are crisp-tender. Immediately transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives.