[cooking] Simple Stir Fry 101

When you master basic stir fry skills, just add rice and you can make fried rice easily.

Stir fry seems to be the first thing come into everyone’s mind when they think of Chinese cooking.  However many of my non-Chinese friends are still a little bit confuse about how to make a proper stir fry dish.

So here are a few steps with simple tools and ingredients to start and follow the steps below to add to your stir fry accordingly!

  1.  A big pan or wok and a spatula.
  2. Get a high smoke point oil — Avocado Oil (smoke point 520 degrees F) and heat up the pan in high heat
  3. Root veggies to kick off some flavour — ginger, garlic, green onions, onions, shallots
  4. Add one or more hard veggies — carrots, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, beans… (but make sure they are sliced or chopped into smaller pieces)
  5. Add a protein — chicken, beef, pork or tofu steak (and also make sure they are sliced as well!)
  6. Pour some rice wine to add some fragrance.
  7. Add a sauce or season — oyster sauce, unagi sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or simply just salt and some sugar to enhance the grassy taste of the veggies.


A few things to bear in mind about Chinese stir fry:

  • A good stir fry dish should have very little moisture, when it’s too wet or soggy, that means either the cooking heat was too low, or, you might have poured water in together with the veggies, or, the pan was too small with too much content in it.
  • Stir fry has to be done in high heat, and may lower it when the ingredients sizzle
  • Always add hard veggies first because they take longer time to cook, and add protein after so they won’t be too tough.  But always slice them to shorten cooking time!
  • A good stir fry need air and space, that says, make sure you can mix around with your spatula in the pan as you stir fry and do not overload your pan with too much ingredients, otherwise it will take forever to heat up and it will become a stew instead.
  • The reason why to add the sauce at the end is to avoid burning and overcooking the ingredients.