7 steps to successful stir-frying
Because stir-frying is such a quick cooking method, it is very important to get everything prepped before you start cooking. Start by chopping all meat and vegetables, grating ginger and crushing garlic – it makes everything much easier when you can just throw ingredients into the wok.
Stir-frying is a fast way to cook so make sure all meat and vegetables are chopped into small, bite-sized pieces so that they cook evenly.
Non-stick pans, particularly ones coated with Teflon, shouldn’t be used over the high temperatures required for successful stir-frying. A wok is best, as it can handle large quantities more readily than a pan. No wok? Then use the largest stainless steel pan to hand, where width is preferable rather than depth.
Stir-frying means high temperature cooking, therefore it’s essential to choose an oil that can take the heat; try coconut, rapeseed, peanut or avocado oil. If you want to add some sesame oil for flavouring, it’s best to drizzle it over the dish once it’s cooked.
Stir-frying is a speedy process and to achieve good results it should be done over a high heat. The food in the pan should be sizzling at all times. To avoid burning, keep ingredients moving constantly by stirring with a wooden spoon shaking the pan from time to time. Once the food is cooked, remove it from the wok and move on to the next item. Each ingredient should takes less than a minute providing the pan is hot enough.
To achieve the perfect fry and to avoid the food from steaming, make sure all vegetables are thoroughly dried after washing them. Only add the sauce at the very end of cooking, giving it just enough time to heat through.
Adding too much food to the wok at one time will cause the food to steam, rather than stir-fry. Brown the meat first, then set aside while cooking the vegetables. Having lots of veg may require cooking in batches. The meat can then be put back in at the end when adding the sauce.
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