Art & Culture

Making The Perfect Stir-Fry

Andrew Parker
Mar 01, 2022

Stir-fry is such a versatile dish, it’s one of the reasons we love it so much. There aren’t many hard and fast rules, as a lot of it is down to personal taste and simply how you like things. We’re just gonna give you a few tips and some basic steps to follow, that’ll have you building, cooking and eating your own delicious stir-fry in no time.

Let’s start with utensils. While a wok would be ideal, not everyone has one in their kitchen, so a large non-stick frying pan will work just as well. As for the stirring, we suggest staying away from metal as it may scrape your pan while stirring, you may even choose to use tongs to help flip things around more easily. Choosing which components to add can be quite daunting, but just go with the flow. Choose your favorite vegetables, and maybe even fruits or nuts. If you’re a meat-eater, then you can also add some strips of beef or chicken. Tofu also works if you prefer a plant-based protein. You’ll want to cook these first, and it’s especially important for chicken and beef to make sure that it’s cooked through properly, and then set your protein aside.

Wok filled with a steamy dish is being held by someone wearing oven gloves

Getty Images / DigitalVision / Hinterhaus Productions

Make sure your wok or frying pan is super hot and add a touch of oil. If you want, you can go for oils infused with garlic, chili or even lemon. The high heat is what gives stir-fry the yummy flavor, while keeping the perfect crunch for the vegetables. It’s usually best to start with those that take longer to cook, such as zucchini, carrots and peppers, leaving things like tomatoes or mushrooms nearer the end.

Since the heat is so high, you will want to add everything in quick succession so as not to risk burning. Resist adding more oil if things start to burn, but rather add a tablespoon of water or soya sauce. When the vegetables are almost done, you can add the cooked protein back in. You’ll want to add your chosen sauce at this stage, and maybe some nuts as well. You can choose to serve as is, or mix in some cooked rice or noodles and bon appetit.