publication date: Aug 31, 2011
author/source: Fiona Beckett
You might think a stir fry is one of the easiest things in the world to cook - and you’d be right but there are good and bad stir-fries just like everything else
There are five really important things to remember:
- Get everything ready beforehand
That’s a good idea generally when you’re cooking but essential in the case of a stir-fry because the whole process takes place so quickly and you don’t want to stop in the middle.
- Cut everything up the same size.
Unless you’ve bought a bag of stir-fried veg you need to make sure that you cut your meat and veg into even sized pieces so they cook at the same time. Then sort them into groups depending how long they will take to cook.
Onions and carrots for example will take longer than vegetables like mangetout and beansprouts.
- Start with a hot wok.
The mistake most people make is to have their wok too cool. It wants to be almost smoking before you add your vegetables - you should almost be able to see a haze shimmer over the surface so allow at least a couple of minutes for it to heat up. DON’T heat the oil as you heat the wok, add it at the last minute. And give the whole process your full attention. Don’t drink and stir-fry!
- Cook any meat first.
If you’re stir-frying meat it’s best to cook it on its own while the wok is at its hottest and without vegetables in the pan which will bring the temperature down. Remove it from the wok once it’s seared then return it to the pan once the vegetables are cooked to heat it through in whatever sauce you’ve added
Canton stir-fried pepper beef with mangetout
Quick orange-lemon chicken
Sweet and sour pork
- Don’t use a commercial stir-fry sauce. They’re nasty, gloopy and expensive. For a simple stir-fry all you need is a mixture of light soy sauce and water. For more elaborate sauces try one of these recipes.