8 Tips For a Fail-Safe Fry
Woks are a chef’s go-to pan for stir fry. Why? Not only is a wok made to get very hot, but its shape allows for movement which is the key to a good stir fry.
As you move the food around the pan, you’ll create tender, yet crisp, vegetables and proteins in a flash. Follow these steps and you'll be ready to wok.
Prep thin & small ingredients
Prep for your stir fry by cutting your proteins (beef, pork, and chicken) into thin strips or slices so they cook quickly. Don’t worry about cutting shrimp or scallops into smaller pieces. They're already the perfect size for a stir fry.
Be mindful of the size of your vegetables. There's a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so don’t add baby carrots or full stalks of asparagus and expect a miracle. Stir fry is all about speed, so the thinner and more uniform the vegetables, the more evenly they'll cook.
Choose your oil wisely
When your wok is hot and ready to go, add your oil. Select an oil that has a high smoke point above 400°F - think peanut, grapeseed, or sunflower.
Avoid oils and fats that have a lower smoke point (below 300°F). That means you should skip the olive oil, butter, and unrefined oils.
Don’t forget an aromatic
Aromatics are a combination of vegetables and herbs that are heated in oil or fat to build a foundation of flavor for sauces, braises, soups, and stews. Stir fry is no different. Garlic, green onions, shallots, chilies, and ginger are all considered aromatics in Chinese cuisine. So before you add in your vegetables, bring traditional Asian flavor, aroma, and depth to your dishes by adding a combination of these herbs and vegetables.
Dry to fry
Make sure you dry off vegetables, shrimp and scallops well before adding them to your wok. Even slightly damp ingredients will alter the wok's temperature. Plus you’ll get steamed food instead of seared food.
Marinade, sauce, or season
If you’re adding a protein to your stir fry, season it beforehand. Because your ingredients will be small and thin, marinating doesn’t need to be done too far in advance.
Give the big guys a head start
Cook your vegetables first. Once the oil is hot and the aromatics are doing their thing, add your veggies and start stirring, tossing, and tumbling and then add your protein.
Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and potatoes might be a bit thicker or heartier than the rest of your raw vegetables. We recommend giving these vegetables a head start by blanching them first, so they'll cook evenly alongside the friendlier stir fry veggies like asparagus, snap peas, string beans, snow peas, greens, and bok choy.