Easy Stir Fry Recipes to Whip Up a Quick Dinner
Stir fry is an easy cooking technique of quickly frying ingredients in hot oil while continually stirring to help seal in the flavors. Originating in China, the dish is usually cooked in a wok, a round-bottomed cooking pot. One of the key advantages of a wok over a frying pan is that the wok distributes the heat more evenly, they also require much less oil. With that all said, a frying pan or sauté pan is perfect for starting out, and once you have been grabbed by the stir fry habit, then you can think about getting a wok to create some easy stir fry recipes.
Quick, Easy and Healthy!
One of the original reasons for the popularity of stir fry came from being able to cook food quickly without wasting fuel. However, the beauty of stir fries is you can often use whatever you have in your fridge. Suddenly, that leftover corn, piece of chicken and solitary carrot can come together to produce a quick and easy meal.
A stir fry is also a very healthy way of cooking. Vegetables remain tender and crisp, so they retain more nutrients than if they were boiled. It also requires just a small amount of oil, so the overall fat content is low.
Top Tips for a Perfect Stir Fry
Your Wok or Sauté Pan Should Be Smoking Hot
To make a tasty stir fry, you need to get your cooking pan very hot. It's usually recommended to heat a wok for at least five minutes over the highest heat on your stove before adding in a high heat vegetable oil. Refined safflower or sunflower oil are good choices, as well as peanut oil, which gives that slightly nutty flavor to your dish.
Don't Cook Ice-Cold Meat
When you add cold meat, you will cause the wok to instantly cool off. So, to avoid this, let the meat sit at room temperature for around 20 minutes before you cook it. This creates a perfect time to marinate it with a little soy sauce and wine.
Get the Order Right
Start off by adding your room temperature meat, fish, or tofu. Cut your meat into thin strips first so that it cooks quickly and evenly. Then, once it is cooked, remove it from the heat.
Then, add your favorite vegetables until they are tender and crisp. Broccoli, baby corn, eggplant, bell peppers and carrots are all great choices.
Now it is time to add in flavor. Many stir fry sauces can be really high in sodium, so good alternatives include basil, oregano and cilantro herbs, along with fresh lemongrass, garlic and ginger. Finally, add your protein back to the pan and stir to mix up all those wonderful flavors.
Our Favorite Stir Fry Recipes
Here are two easy stir fry recipes you can make for yourself, you and your significant other, or the whole family.
Quick and Easy Stir Fry for Beginners
- 8 ounces of any meat of your choice cut into strips
- 1 pound of vegetables, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 tablespoons of garlic, ginger, or shallots, whichever aromatic you like best
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro or basil
- 1/2 tablespoon of oil for cooking in
- Add in the sauce (see below)
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup broth
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
Quick and easy to make, just put all the sauce ingredients into the bowl and whisk together.
- First of all, you need to heat up your wok or frying pan. So, place it over a high heat and leave for several minutes. Then swirl in 1/2 tablespoon of oil.
- Add the meat, cooking till it is brown on all sides or cooked right through for chicken or pork. Then lift out of the pan and place to one side.
- Add the vegetables that take the longest to cook and fry for one minute.
- Then, add the vegetables which cook more quickly, such as onions or peas and cook for another minute.
- Now's the time to add in your aromatics. Cook for just 30 seconds and keep moving them around the pan to avoid over cooking.
- Add in the pre-cooked meat and the pre-prepared sauce. Keep stirring everything around to make sure all the meat and vegetables are coated in the sauce and then cook for one more minute.
- Remove from the heat off and add in your basil or cilantro.
- Serve and enjoy!
Super Quick Shrimp Stir Fry
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound of tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 3/4 cups of sliced king mushrooms
- 1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of oyster sauce, or to taste
- 8 ounces of fresh noodles
- 1 cup of bean sprouts
- The first job is to get the pan ready, so add in both oils and then place the pan over a medium heat.
- Add in both the shrimp and onion and stir them around.
- Toss in the mushrooms, green bell peppers and garlic, and keep stirring.
- Then, add in the ginger.
- Now pour in both the oyster sauce and the water and cook for around five minutes.
- Finally, mix in the bean sprouts and noodles and cook for a couple of minutes until heated through.
- A quick stir through and dinner is ready!