Stir it Up!
There are so many benefits to a stir-fry, they are quick, easy, cheap, colourful, healthy, nutritious and interesting.
Here are some top tips to get you stirring:
- Prepare your ingredients beforehand
- Chop all ingredients to a similar size (bite size)
- You don’t need a wok, you can use a flat bottomed saucepan, as long as it has enough room to stir!
- You don’t have to pre heat the pan if it is non-stick, otherwise heat before you add the oil
- Opt for a medium high heat giving you a bit more time before things burn!
- You can turn the temperature up for meat and down for veg.
- Let the oil heat before you add the ingredients.
- Canola (rapeseed), seasame, almond or extra light olive oils are preferred, as they withstand higher temperatures.
- Normal olive oil has a lower burning point than extra light olive oil and it’s properties change when heated to high temperatures making it less healthy.
- Dark sesame oil adds depth and flavour
- You can drain excess oil once the pan is coated
- Season the oil with your main herb/flavour such as garlic, lime, lemon, chilli, coriander, basil (turn heat down for this bit to avoid burning)
- Next add the protein and turn up the heat for meat
- Experiment with different kinds of protein: chicken, turkey, tofu, quorn strips, prawns, lean beef and beans all work well
- Shitake mushrooms add a meaty texture and are a great vegetarian alternative
- Pre cooked and frozen shrimps are a handy stir fry staple to have in the freezer providing a range of nutrients
- For a treat why not try scallops, you can also buy them frozen which works out cheaper and handier.
- Cook the meat or seafood first then set it aside when it is about 80% cooked
- Add harder larger vegetables first
- Add some crunch with, soya beans, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, bok choy or water chesnuts
- Add colour with peppers, carrots and red cabbage
- Keep the food moving in the pan (keep stirring!)
- Add the protein back in when the vegetables are almost cooked
- Add your sauce, avoiding shop bought which most likely contains salt and sugar and instead use lemon juice, lime juice, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, crème fraiche, avocado, nut butters and herbs to add your own flavours
- Or add a dash of reduced salt soy sauce
- Place your stir fry onto a bed of brown rice, quinoa or wholewheat noodles
- For another portion of veg try courgette or carrot noodles instead made with a spiralizer or peeler
- Sprinkle with a garnish such as chopped herbs, nuts or seeds
- Serve immediately
Experiment with some of these great taste combos: lime and coriander, chilli and lime, lemon and garlic, basil and tomato, ginger and lemon, ginger and chilli, lemongrass and coconut, coconut and lime.