Looking at a fairly empty larder (too busy to go to the grocery), I grabbed a little of this and a little of that and, by applying basic principles of recipe creation, think I invented a "Chinese" stir-fry that you'll never see on the menu down at your local chopsticks joint but that I believe wouldn't be out of place there.

First principle: To invent a Chinese dish, you need to bring together three elements: (1) MAIN ingredients, cut into chopsticks-size pieces; (2) a mixture of SEASONING ingredients; and (3) a mixture of SAUCE ingredients.

Second principle: Get 1, 2 and 3 organized before you fire up the wok. Stir- frying is fast work, invented by a tree-deprived culture that prized fuel and tried to use as little of it as possible.

And so, I hereby present:

(1) MAIN ingredients: Cut 3/4 pound sliced, boneless turkey breast into squares about 3/4-inch to 1 inch on a side. Cut one large green pepper into similar squares. Cut one large onion into similar squares. (Cut it through the equator, then cut each half into six wedges, and it'll fall into stir-fryable pieces.

(2) FLAVOR ingredients: In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons black-bean garlic sauce (available in Asian groceries); one fat garlic clove minced fine; and dried red pepper flakes to taste. Slice and set aside two "coins" whacked off a fresh ginger root. Slice and set aside one scallion (green onion).

(3) SAUCE ingredients: In a bowl or large measuring cup, mix 3/4 cup chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a little water.

STIR-FRY: Using as little vegetable oil as you can get away with (I like peanut oil for stir-frying), stir-fry the ginger slices and onion squares until the onion starts to cook. Then add the green-pepper slices, stir-fry for another minute or two, and add the FLAVOR ingredients, stirring quickly to mix. Add the turkey-breast squares and toss quickly, just until they begin to lose their pink color. Pour in the sauce ingredients, stir, reduce heat to a simmer and cover; cook for four minutes (only) or until the turkey meat is just cooked through. Remove the lid, stir in the cornstarch over low heat and continue stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Serve, garnished with chopped scallion.

With steamed white rice, we declared this poultry-and-vegetable stir-fry a meal in itself and didn't serve it with anything else but the wine, of course: A nice, cheap White Bordeaux from Bergerac.