Perfect for a weeknight dinner, stir-fries don?t require much of an accompaniment except for a bowl of rice or noodles. It?s the quickest way to combine vegetables and protein in a single dish with a dash of seasonings or flavoursome sauces. Here are 10 fool-proof ways to prepare a stir-fry:
1. Always use a wok when preparing stir-fries as it has a large surface area and retains heat really well.
2. Since stir-fries only require about 5 minutes of cooking time, there?s no time for you to cut and wash your ingredients in the midst of cooking. Prepare all your ingredients ahead before lighting up the stove.
3. Ginger, garlic and chillies are a must have in your stir-fry. Without it, the dish will taste rather bland.
4. If you?re combining meat with vegetables, make sure to cook them separately and combine them only after each is thoroughly cooked.
5. Cut ingredients into thin, bite-sized pieces so they?ll cook quickly. They should be of similar shape and size too. If the sizes vary widely, the ingredients will cook unevenly.
6. Ingredients such as meat and tofu should be stirred less frequently in order for it to stay in contact with the hot pan to get that nice, seared exterior. Vegetables on the other hand need to be stirred around so that they don?t get mushy and cook through quickly.
7. Never overcrowd your pan with vegetables as they will turn soggy instead of crisp due to the excessive liquid that is released.
8. Strain your vegetables with a salad spinner or blot them with a kitchen towel before adding them into the wok. Wet vegetables tend to cool the wok down and you?ll end up with steamed vegetables instead of tender-crisp ones.
9. Always add liquids such as sauces towards the end ? when the dish is more or less done cooking.
10. Preheat your wok before you add the oil. After adding the oil, carefully swirl the wok to get the oil to coat the base and sides. It?s best to use oils with a high smoke point such as peanut oil because stir-fries are prepared on high heat.