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how to stir-fry

Whether they’re made with pork, chicken or beef, stir-fry recipes are by nature fast and easy—but these clever tips from the KRAFT KITCHENS Experts can help make them even faster and easier! What essential equipment do you need? What oils are good to use? Which goes first—the broccoli or the kale? (Not a trick question!) In addition to the tips, we also have a video on knife skills, and tips on how to cook perfect rice and quinoa to serve with your stir-fry.

Stir-Fry tools

  • A wok works best, but a large flat-bottomed pan can work very well.
  • Also, have a long handled wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula available.

Prep for Stir-Fry

  • Have all the ingredients you will need ready. Stir-frying is a fast method of cooking and there is no time to stop and chop! This means have meat cut into uniform bite-sized pieces and vegetables washed and cut into uniform bite-sized pieces as well. This will aid in even cooking of all ingredients.
  • Here’s a great tip, place your ingredients in small bowls in the order that they will be added to the pan.

Oils for Stir-Fry

  • For best results, use oil with a high smoking point. That means the oil can stand up to high heat before smoking and burning.
  • Vegetable oil, canola oil and grape seed oil are great oils to use. Peanut oil is excellent, and it also adds a nice flavor to the stir-fry.
  • Heat the wok or pan briefly on medium-high before adding any food to the pan. Swirl the oil to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.

Stir-Frying Meats

  • Meat often requires longer cooking time than a lot of vegetables so add meat to the wok first. Spread meat into one layer and let it sear before turning.
  • Seafood such as shrimp cook quicker than beef or pork. Watch for sign of doneness such as shrimp turning pink.
  • Often recipes will call for removing meat from wok when cooked through and continuing with remaining ingredients before adding meat or seafood back to the finished dish.

Stir-Frying Vegetables

  • Denser vegetables such as broccoli and carrots will take longer to cook than leafy vegetables. Frozen or blanched vegetables will cook faster than raw vegetables.
  • Add the leafy vegetables, such as bok choy, spinach or cabbage to the cooked denser vegetables or they can be stir-fired on their own. As soon as they begin to wilt, they are cooked.
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