8 Stir-fry Tips To Wok Like A Pro
Stir-fry is a great way to increase your vegetable intake, both in quantity and diversity. It is easy to eat the rainbow with this easy and quick cooking method. And it is FUN!
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to stir-fry. There are endless options for combining protein, vegetables, herbs and even some fruit, nuts and seeds.
Is stir-fry one of your favorites, but you aren't sure you can make it as tasty as your favorite restaurant does? It's easy to craft your stir-fry recipes on the fly when you know the tips and tricks for how to make it authentically.
In less time than it takes for a delivery to arrive, you could be sitting down to a delicious and nutritious, homemade stir-fry that tastes better than a restaurant.
1. Use a wok
A wok is unquestionably the most authentic way to stir-fry. However, you don't need to run out and buy one just yet.
You can use a cast iron skillet to achieve similar results. Something heavy and about 12 inches should do the trick.
2. Get the oil hot
Stir-fry is a quick-cooking method using hot oil. Oils that have a high smoking point are the best choice to get that traditional flavor without inflammatory side effects.
Try avocado oil or coconut oil.
3. Prep your ingredients
Stir-frying is a technique that happens so fast you won't have time to chop anything in between. That means if you want it to turn out right, you'll need to spend some time prepping first before you fire up the stove.
Have everything chopped and your finishing sauce prepared before you start cooking.
4. Use small pieces
With meats and firmer veggies like broccoli and carrots, cutting them into smaller pieces ensures speedier and even cooking. Try to keep them uniform, so they all cook at the same rate.
It is helpful to stir-fry the meat first and remove it from the wok while you cook the vegetables. You can add it back to the wok when you are adding the sauce at the end.
And remember, the vegetables should be bright in color and tender, not mushy. Don't overcook them.
5. Don’t forget aromatics
Garlic, ginger, and green onions are critical to making a successful stir-fry. In fact, if you've tried to make a stir-fry before and it lacked that umami taste, it could be that these simple additions weren't added.
Try keeping some ginger root in the freezer for your stir-fry. Use a microplane to easily grate the frozen ginger into the wok.
These aromatics go beyond taste profile and also up the health benefits of your stir-fry.
6. Add the sauce at the end
Once everything is cooked, you can finish with a stir-fry sauce of your choice.
It's easy enough to make your own with coconut aminos, oyster sauce, red pepper flakes, white pepper, sesame oil, and a little arrowroot to thicken it up.
7. Finish with fresh herbs
Remove your stir-fry from the heat and immediately top with chopped cilantro if you desire. Fresh herbs and microgreens will elevate your stir-fry beyond standard restaurant fare.
8. Go a little nuts
Finally, add some cashews and or sesame seeds. Waiting until just before you are about to dig in will prevent them from becoming soft and soggy. They will add the perfect amount of crunch!
Don't forget that practice makes perfect with stir-fry. Once you master these basics steps, you can create all kinds of sauces and combinations that will delight your taste buds for every meal.