HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Stir Fry tips and tricks?

o
OCElizabeth Sep 15, 2009 12:53 PM

Hey guys...there are a lot of techniques I am really familiar and comfortable...stir frying is NOT one of them :-) So I bought a wok I am just trying to expand my repertoire a little bit...any good tips or tricks for total novice wokkers? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. m
    MattInNJ RE: OCElizabeth Sep 15, 2009 01:06 PM

    I havent stir fried in awhile, kinda did it too much for awhile and got burned out on it.
    Buy a high quality peanut oil for frying, it has a higher smoke temp than other oils. I assume you have a high quality wok, and the only other thing is to cook at very high heat for a short amount of time, it is a very active process...

    1. Uncle Bob RE: OCElizabeth Sep 15, 2009 01:07 PM

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Mise en place and cook foods in small batches... then bring them all together in the wok for the finale.

      Have Fun & Enjoy!

      1. goodhealthgourmet RE: OCElizabeth Sep 15, 2009 01:10 PM

        these threads should help a little with method/process:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/487304
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/372146
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/285943

        and if you search the board for "Stir Fry" you'll pull up tons of threads with recipes.

        1. g
          gordeaux RE: OCElizabeth Sep 15, 2009 01:16 PM

          get the pan HOT
          After that, you need sesame oil, oyster sauce, and then it's up to you to create what you like. Chili garlic sauce is also a staple for me. It helps to have uniformly cut veggies, and have all your ingredients ready to go, OR be nimble with a knife and know what order you'd like to add your stuff in. I'm usually doing this:

          1. Get the rice cooker going
          2. Figure out what the heck veggies I have, and chopping them how I want.
          3. Slicing meat how I want, and possibly marinating it.
          4. Turning on the wok on my highest burner up all the way
          5. Getting out all sauces I wanna use
          6. in to the wok goes the meat for a quick sear, high heat, then it's removed.
          7. Next in go the veggies. Usually mushrooms first, by themselves. I will remove mushrooms when they are fully seared. Then goes in the other veggies according to cook time. If I'm doing broccoli, I'll steam it in the microwave for a few seconds. Just nuke them in a plastic baggie. Instant steamer. When the last veggies are in the wok, I'll start to create whatever sauce I'd care to frankenstein together. I do this in the bottom of the wok by spreading the veggies around to the sides. Usually sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili garlic sauce, oyster sauce, lower sodium soy or mushroom soy or ponzu, hot chili oil, bean paste, xiou xing wine, lime juice, and get that sizzling away. Then add in the meat and mushrooms. Depending on how you slice the meat will dictate how long you cook it. Keep that into consideration for yor veggies. You want the meat pretty thin so you don't wind up with mushy veggies. Stir fry is easy. You just have to have your ducks in a row before you start.

          1. b
            bw2082 RE: OCElizabeth Sep 15, 2009 02:14 PM

            only need 2 tips

            1. screaming hot work
            2. don't overcrowd the pan

            1. l
              lvsnyder RE: OCElizabeth Sep 15, 2009 06:48 PM

              my own 2 cents: Make sure everything is pretty dry, especially the meat, and especially if you marinated the meat. If the meat is still really moist from the marinade it will steam and get tough instead of browning. Similarly if you are using brocolli and want to steam it, brown it first, then add some water to create the steam -- I prefer that rather than steaming first.

              If using garlic and/or ginger, mince them up and mix them with a little bit of oil. After the veggies are mostly done, make a little spot in the center of the wok, add the garlic/ginger, mash it up a little bit, and cook for 30 sec or so, then mix it back in with the veggies. (I learned this trick from Cooks Illustrated, but I'm guessing they didn't invent it.)

              1. t
                tonka11_99 RE: OCElizabeth Mar 28, 2010 12:31 PM

                Most people don't have a wok and you don't need one. Besides, Modern stove tops are not set up for real woks and can't generate the heat for a true wok.

                Use a heavy non stick pan. even better if it has high sides. At least 12 inches wide.

                Collect a couple of generic stir fry sauce recipes. Cook the ingredients in batches and combine at the last.

                Marinate the meat in Soy sauce and sugar.

                1. r
                  runwestierun RE: OCElizabeth Mar 28, 2010 01:06 PM

                  I get very good results if I velvet the chicken or beef. Here is an explanation in English (it starts at about 2:50):

                  http://www.cheftomm.com/beef-with-bro...

                  1. ipsedixit RE: OCElizabeth Mar 28, 2010 01:11 PM

                    - Get your wok hot, like "Africa hot"

                    - Work quickly

                    - Mise en place -- or, in other words, have everything ready (i.e., chopped, marinated, diced, etc.) before you begin.

                    1. c
                      cgruner RE: OCElizabeth Apr 6, 2010 09:48 AM

                      http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Super-Eas...
                      This page will change your stir fry life, if you really read & follow it.

                      Show Hidden Posts