HOW TO STIR-FRY ANYTHING
Stir-frying is an Asian technique for cooking meat and vegetables quickly, so that they retain texture and flavor. Stir-frying typically involves a quick sauté over high heat, occasionally followed by a brief steam in a flavored sauce.
Invest in a nonstick or carbon-steel wok (you need to season a carbon-steel wok). While you can stir-fry in any old skillet, the wok's depth and sloping sides (it's cooler there, so you can move ingredients away from the hot bottom to the sides) are ideal.
Prepare everything you need before you begin to stir-fry. Cut all your vegetables and meats and prepare your sauce. Stir-frying is fast; you won't really have time to chop the broccoli while the onion is cooking.
Make sure that your vegetables and meats are all cut approximately the same size – bite size, as a matter of fact. Stir-frying uses high heat, so pieces must be small enough to cook through without burning.
Learn the different cooking times of meats and vegetables. You'll need to stagger additions to the stir-fry according to how long they take to cook. (For example, you'd add onions first, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add broccoli florets and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, then add red bell pepper and stir-fry for 2 more minutes.)
If you've got a wok full, stir-fry the meat completely first, then add it back in at the end. (This works well for a large assemblage of ingredients, because you ensure the meat cooks fully but not too much.)
Heat the pan first, then add oil. When the oil is hot, add aromatics, such as ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for a few seconds, or until you smell them.
Start adding your other ingredients, according to their approximate cooking times. When the food is about two-thirds done, add your sauce. If the food will take more than a few minutes more to cook, cover and steam until done. If it will take less time, continue to stir-fry.
Practice the basic technique of lifting under the food in the wok with a spatula or other flat utensil and moving it to the side.
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