Budget Recipe: Spicy Peanut Butter and Garlic Stir Fry

Cheap student recipes

Spicy Peanut Butter and Garlic Stir Fry (SERVES 2)

Time: 15 MINUTES


Illustration by Fionnlagh Ballantine


Who doesn’t love a stir fry? This quick, easy recipe is nutritious and delicious and can be made with pretty much whatever veggies you can lay your hands on.  The sauce ingredients are long life, and you’ll only use a small amount in each dish – perfect if you’re on a budget.


  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (rapeseed oil, with its high smoke point, is great for high temperature cooking)
  • 4 tbsp Peanut Butter 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • 120g Rice (to minimise your energy bill, you can use a pack of pre-cooked microwave rice)
  • An assortment of vegetables: broccoli, green and red peppers, onion, beansprouts, carrots, snap peas, leafy greens. (Alternatively, find a Chinese vegetable stir-fry kit at your local grocery store)
  • A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)


First things first, let’s start with the rice.  If you’re using micro rice it will keep toasty warm in its pouch once it’s finished cooking.  If you’re using loose white rice then boil in around 2 cups of lightly salted water for 10-12 minutes (brown rice will take longer – see the packet for its cooking time).  Drain and set aside the rice once it’s cooked and fluffy.

While the rice is cooking, make the simple sauce by mixing together the peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha and honey in a small bowl.  Adjust the sauce to your taste and then set aside.

Pre-heat the oil your wok or pan to a medium-high heat.  Then toss your garlic and veg into the pan to cook for about 5 minutes, or they begin to go almost soft, while stirring constantly.  In all honesty, the cooking time for your veggies is a complete matter of taste; it all depends on how you like them, but keep in mind that overcooking destroys some of the nutrients.

Once your veg is ready, add your rice to the pan, then the sauce. Mix everything together and cook for a further 2 minutes.

That’s it.  That’s you.  Serve and enjoy.

There’s no need to limit yourself to one type of stir fry, this recipe provides a base to be expanded on!  Add cooked chicken, beef, firm tofu or quorn to the vegetables to change it up.

Also, if you’re hungover, try adding the sauce from this recipe to a pack of instant noodles. You can thank us later!

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