Ham and Zucchini Stir Fry
Try this easy low carb Chinese ham and zucchini stir fry when you’re in a pinch and need a quick meal. This keto-friendly recipe requires less than 10 minutes of cook time!
Growing up I thought that Chinese food was pretty limited to the takeout menu. Turns out the take out menu items are generally not available in China. Ha.
Learning How to Cook in China
If you’re new around here, I’ll give you a short summary of why I talk about China so much. I lived in Northern China for 4 years in my early 20s. It was a very formative chapter of my life.
While learning a bit of Chinese, my main context was food. I used to hang out with a gal named San Jie (means “third sister”) and she exclusively spoke Chinese. I tried to understand her Chinese recipes and teach her my American recipes. It was a comedy for sure. Actually, she ran a Russian restaurant because she had spent some time in Russia. She was one of the few people in the city who had a huge oven. We used that oven to make mammoth-sized turkeys for Thanksgiving and about 40 loaves of banana bread for a friend’s wedding.
What was awesome about learning Chinese was understanding that their menu names of dishes are so literal. Once I learned the characters for various animals and vegetables I could read most menus! If you walk into a restaurant or dining hall, it might be overwhelming to see a board full of characters and some random pictures. However, once you realize that each line is something like carrots and chicken, broccoli and chicken, or zucchini and chicken (then repeat with every other combination) it quickly made sense.
Even though you probably haven’t made ham and zucchini before, don’t knock it till you try it. You can pretty much turn anything into a stir fry. Thank you, China for your many lessons.
Do you need a Wok?
My answer would be yes.
But truthfully, you can cook this in a frying pan if you must.
I love using my wok and have shared a bit about why woks are a fantastic kitchen tool in my kitchen essentials portion of my site. I give a rundown of my favorite tools for the kitchen. The wok is one of my favorite pans for cooking foods high heat and making easy stir fry recipes.
When I was creating my wedding registry, I remember doing research on woks and coming to the conclusion that carbon steel was the best material for an authentic wok. I found one that was reasonably priced, and have had a very successful 4+ years with it.
You can care for your wok in a similar way you’d care for cast iron.
- Don’t use soap.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaning tools.
- Dry it after you wash it.
- Oil it after you wash it and dry it to prevent it from rusting.
I love to use my chain scrubber to clean items that get stuck on the wok. It gently lifts without using harsh abrasion. Best $14 investment I’ve made for my kitchen!
Tips for making Ham and Zucchini Stir Fry
Ingredients for this low carb Chinese Stir Fry
Low carb vegetable + Meat + Sauces
For this recipe, I chose to use ham, because it is often on sale around holidays and is really cheap but I don’t always know what to do with it! Cut in about 1/8″ x 1″ x 1″ slices.
For the vegetable, you can use any low carb vegetable but I chose zucchini because its great for stir fry recipes. Cut this in batonnet pieces.
When cutting the zucchini, here is a quick reference for making a batonnet cut. It is a French term for a little spear that’s 2″ x 1/4″ x 1/4″.
Oyster sauce has gluten in it, but try to find a variety that is free of MSG.
Soy sauce also has gluten in it but if you’d like an alternative for that you could try coconut aminos.
The reason I’m not against using some soy sauce and oyster sauce is that the recipe calls for such a small amount. The carb count is minimal.
If you’re staying away from any and all sugar, then you can omit the oyster sauce and just use coconut aminos.
You want to cook this using an oil that can tolerate high heat. A great neutral option is avocado oil. Coconut oil would also be fine, but it adds a coconut flavor.
For THM friends, this is an (S)
Ham and Zucchini Stir Fry
- 2 Medium Zucchini batonnet cut
- 8 oz Ham Small 1″ Slices
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- ¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Oyster sauce*
- 1 Tbsp Soy sauce* or coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp Avocado oil* for frying
The trick with any stir fry is having everything ready because the actual cooking process is pretty fast
- Add garlic and stir for 5 seconds
- Add zucchini, stir fry for a minute, stirring frequently
- Add ham
- Then add sauce mixture
- Quickly stir fry for several minutes then remove from heat.
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