Tips for Making the Perfect Stir-Fry
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Stir-frys are a great mid-week option to throw together bits & pieces, and get something on the table quickly that's healthy and filling. The best thing about stir-frying is that you can play around with different ingredients and sauces and have fun experimenting! It's also a great way to have a fridge clean-out and use up leftover meat and those vegetables that will be heading for the compost in a few days.
Here are some easy but essential tips for making the most out of your stir-fry.
1. Get all of your ingredients prepped
Stir-frying is a quick cooking method - the heat is super hot and unforgiving - so it's best to have everything sliced and ready to add. Also have any sauces close by and oil/water to add a splash if things start to look dry.
2. Turn up the heat
Your pan needs to be hot - like super, smoking hot! And a wok is the best choice as there's a lot more surface area for quicker cooking.
3. Thinly sliced is best
The goal is fast frying, so slice vegetables thinly and the heat will penetrate & cook them in minutes. You definitely don't want to overcook veggies but at the same time you're not aiming for a raw salad. Try to make vegetables a similar size too, to allow for a similar cooking time. And be careful with very finely chopped vegetables such as ginger and garlic - it is sometimes best to cook these separately over a lower heat or add them towards the end of stir-frying.
4. Meat matters
If you're cooking raw meat, make sure it's close to room temperate, rather than fridge-cold. And it's important to cook the meat in batches - if you throw it all in at the same time, it will steam rather than brown, and you could be left with either overcooked or undercooked meat. Stir-frys are also a great way to use up leftover cooked meat, such as from a Sunday roast. If you're adding cooked meat, put this in towards the end of stir-frying to warm through and take on the flavours.
5. Stay focused
For the 10 minutes of active stir-frying time, give the pan 100% attention. You want to keep things moving as the heat is so high and ensure everything is getting equal attention from the hot surface. It will be worth it in the end to be devoted to it for that short cooking time.
For some further inspiration, take a look at our stir-fry recipes below:
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