There are so many reasons to include a stir fry in your menu every week. They are great all year round and are the perfect choice for an easy ‘throw together’ meal using whatever you have on hand.
You can switch up the flavours by using different sauces and if you don’t think you have enough meat for the whole family, a few hundred grams of chicken goes a long way in a stir fry.
Here are my 3 secrets to a good stir fry:
- Dry fry – I never use a lot of oil in my stir fries, instead I just coat my non-stick wok with some cooking spray. This is a much healthier, low fat way to cook a stir fry.
- Cut up all the veggies prior to cooking – Vegetables that work well – shallots, onion, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, carrot, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, mushrooms, celery, snow peas or sugar snaps, bok choy or any Chinese vegetables. Sometimes I throw in pumpkin, asparagus, cabbage or spinach for a change. Don’t overload with too many different vegetables in the wok, I usually limit it to 5 or 6.
- Avoid overcooking the meat – Most people cook their meat for too long which results in tough, dry meat.
Putting it all together:
- Add crushed garlic, ginger or lemon grass to a hot pan, let it heat for a few seconds then toss in your chicken, meat or seafood. This way you get the flavour of the garlic and ginger into the meat, yum!
- It only takes a few minutes to cook beef strips or seafood and a little longer for diced chicken – once cooked remove from the pan and leave it to one side. Re-spray the pan then add the vegetables and toss until just cooked.
- To finish off the stir fry, add the meat back to the pan along with any sauces you are using. Some of my favourites are oyster sauce, the low-salt soy sauce. for a little extra bite add chilli jam, you don’t need a lot as it can be quite hot, but it really gives the dish a great flavour. Hoi Sin, Teriyaki or sweet soy sauce are great in a stir fry as well.
- Add stock powder and some water, and then thicken with cornflour. Remove from the heat and serve straight away.
FOR A CREAMY STIR FRY – Instead of using coconut cream, add 1 tsp of imitation coconut essence to 250ml of evaporated light milk. 250ml of coconut cream has 60g of fat where my low fat version has only 4g. Red, green or yellow curry paste go really well in a cream based stir fry. I also love Penang paste.
If you prefer to stick to a recipe, try my Beef Stir Fry.
Do you have any other tips to add to help make the perfect stir fry? Please share in the comments below.