Stir Frying

Stir Frying Video

Click here to download the MP3 version to listen to on your ipod. (you may need to ‘right click’ and ‘save link as’)

What is stir frying?

It’s just like it sounds. Stir frying is cooking food in a little oil (the frying part) and stirring as you go to keep the food moving around.

Why stir fry?

It’s quick. It’s usually healthy. And there seems to be some sort of stir fry magic, similar to when you make a sandwich. No matter what you throw in, the results are either pretty good or downright delicious.

What you need

a pan to cook in Woks are one of the rare cases of cooking equipment where cheaper is better. I picked up a thin carbon steel wok online for about $15 and then seasoned it following the method over here.

But if you aren’t ready to make that investment, a good skillet or frying pan will do.

Don’t even think about using a ‘non stick’ wok. Stir frying is all about using temperatures well above the recommendations of non stick pan manufacturers. You don’t want to risk that non stick surface working its way into your food.

something to stir with The only other business critical piece of equipment is a stirring utensil. I use a wooden spatchula. The wider the better for making your stirring more effective.

a super high heat The reason stir frying is so quick is that the thin steel heats up almost instantly. It passes on the heat from the flame directly to the food. So it’s all about your heat source. Gas is best. For those of you who are stuck with electricity and love your stir frys, Eleanor Hoh had a great suggestion. Buy a portable butane gas stove. Or you could do like my sister Nao, and use the wok burner on your gas BBQ.

ingredients chopped & ready to go Usually I’m a prep-as-I-go type of cook. When it comes to stir frying, I’ve learned the hard way. It’s much better to have everything organised before the flame touches the wok.

The cooking happens so quickly, it’s not worth having to stop mid stir fry to rush and catchup with your chopping. OR worse still, burning your dinner because you took your eye off the wok.

How to stir fry

1. prepare your ingredients Chop everything into bight sized pieces. Ingredients that take longer to cook should be chopped smaller. Or get them cooked before you add the quick cooking veg.

2. pre heat your wok so it’s super hot We’re looking for fierce heat. Thin carbon steel woks heat up fast. If you’re using a heavy cast iron wok or a skillet or frying pan, best to take the extra time to preheat properly before you add any food to the pan.

3. add a little oil and stir fry your aromatics & protein Use an oil that is suited to high temperature cooking. I prefer peanut or macadamia oil. You don’t need much.

Traditional aromatics include ginger, garlic and chilli. Some people add these before the protein. I pop them in at the same time to make sure you don’t end up with bitterness from burnt garlic or ginger.

Tender cuts of meat are better suited to stir frying. Slicing finely across the grain of the meat or poultry will ensure tenderness and quick cooking. As soon as the meat looks cooked, remove it from the wok and keep warm in a clean bowl.

4. stir fry the veg Start with the longer cooking veg like carrots and broccoli. Finish with the speedier leafy veg like bok choy.

5. return the protein to the pan toss a few times over the heat Once everything is back in the pan it’s time to season with your sauce.

5 tips for a tasty stir fry

1. Get the right wok. Thin, cheap carbon steel is best. Round bottoms are best because they help to keep the food constantly moving.

2. Look after your wok. Season it properly before you begin. (See method over here).

2.A crowded wok will end up with stewed, tough meat. If you’re cooking for more than 2 people, best to cook in batches to makes sure there is enough heat to quickly sear the meat.

3. Use ingredients that work well together. And trust your instincts. It’s a liberating way to cook.

4. You don’t need a heavy Asian sauce to make a great stir fry. Some of the best stir frys are seasoned with a simple splash of soy sauce. Or even more radical, they skip the sauce all together.

5. Cook with gas. Gas is best because it heats quickly. If you have an electric stove and like to stir fry, think about investing in a portable butane gas stove. Or a gas BBQ with a wok burner on the side.

SVCS stir fry recipes

w4 chicken basil & broccoli stir fry-2 winter veggie stir fry-2 green bean stir fry summer stir fry triple 'B' stir fry-2 w3 chicken & broccoli stir fry beef & black bean stir fry chicken with cashewnuts ginger beef stir fry pad thai-2

Quick Stir Fry
Winter Veg Stir Fry
Green Bean Stir Fry
Summer Chicken Stir Fry
Triple ‘B’ Stir Fry
Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry
Beef & Black Bean Stir Fry
Chicken & Cashew Nut Stir Fry
Ginger Beef Stir Fry
Pad Thai

SVCS Stir Fry Accompaniments

frozen rice chicken & basil stir fry

Perfect Fluffy Rice
Cauliflower Rice

Like to learn more?

Leave a comment or question below and let me know…

Print Friendly

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

vanessa kolembus September 21, 2013

hi Jules,
FYI. Not sure if its my computer or not, but i’m having trouble viewing the stir frying video. i cant seem to view it past the ‘What You Need’ mark? I’ll download the mp3 but just thought id let you know. thanks, Ness


Leave a Comment