I make stir-fries a lot. They're a really simple and tasty way to make a quick and veggie-packed dinner. Usually, by the time the rice is done, my meal is done, as well (or at least really close to being done!) I often use a few variations on some common themes: beef and broccoli (sometimes with red bell peppers or carrots) with a lightly sweet soy sauce; shredded pork and cabbage with dark soy and a little heat from sriracha or sambal olek; sliced pork or chicken with Thai red curry paste, lime leaves, green beans, and basil. And sometimes I just dump in whatever I have on hand, with whatever condiments, vinegar, sauces, herbs, and maybe some crunchy toppings, sound good. The great thing is, it's pretty hard to screw up. As long as I don't overcook my meat and veggies, or make the sauce too salty, it's all pretty tasty. But I don't find them worthy of posting, because I don't measure, and while they're always good, they're never great. Not something you'd feel comfortable telling someone "Hey, you should make this! You'll like it."
Well, this time I made one that's really good, and worthy repeating (and a blog post)! Cabbage and snow peas are great in stir-fries, but the real winner here is the cucumber. Stir-fried until slightly softened, the flavor becomes sweeter, milder, and almost a little nutty. The texture becomes more silky, and it loses some of that graininess. It becomes a really nice and unexpected foil to the crisp and crunchy cabbage and peas. The mint and cilantro are a must here, too, as they cap off the stir-fry with a nice, fresh, herbal note. With a side of your favorite rice, this is a lean, healthy, satisfying meal that feels like a real treat.