How to stir fry video

Article by: Allrecipes  |  Video by: Allrecipes
Stir-frying cooks bite-sized ingredients in a small amount of oil over high heat. Meats, chicken and seafood come out tender and juicy. And vegetables keep the fresh flavour, crisp texture, bright colour and all the vitamins that make veggies so good for you.

Stir-frying is also a great way to stretch your pennies. Many stir-fry recipes call for lots of onion, carrots and cabbage which are cheaper veggies, while pricy chicken, pork or prawns are used in smaller amounts.

A wok has the ideal shape for stir-frying, but you can get also great results using a large frying pan with a flat bottom and high, sloped sides. Just be sure there's plenty of room in the pan for tossing and stirring ingredients.

A wooden spatula with a wide, flat surface, is perfect for stirring ingredients with ease.

Step 1: Prepare ingredients

You'll spend more time cutting up food than cooking it. Because the cooking time for stir-fry is mere minutes, you need to have all your ingredients prepped in advance.

Here's what you'll need for a basic chicken and vegetable stir-fry. These amounts will serve four.

The oil:
Start with two tablespoons of cooking oil, such as groundnut or rapeseed oil - these oils can take high heat without smoking.

The flavourings:
You'll also need classic stir-fry flavourings:
  • Six cloves of garlic, minced
  • One teaspoon of grated fresh root ginger
  • One bunch of spring onion, thinly sliced

The meat:
450g of skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized pieces. You could also use chicken breast strips ready-sliced from the supermarket.

The veg:
The vegetables in this dish are colourful and crunchy:
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls of mangetout or snow peas

Some liquid:
125ml of chicken stock to moisten the dish and help cook the cabbage

The finishing sauce:
To bring all the flavours together at the end, make this simple finishing sauce. Just whisk together:
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour

Now that all the ingredients are measured, minced, sliced and whisked, you're ready to stir-fry.
Step 2: Flavour the oil

Heat your wok or pan over medium-high heat for three to four minutes. Then pour one tablespoon of oil down the side of the pan. Tip the pan so the oil coats the sides and bottom.

Give the oil a moment to heat up, and then drop in a wee bit of minced garlic. If it immediately starts to sizzle, that means your oil is hot and ready. If not, allow your pan to heat up a bit longer.

Stir in half the garlic, ginger and spring onions. Toss and stir rapidly for about 30 seconds to flavour your oil.
Step 3: Cook the chicken

Next, add the chicken pieces to the hot, flavoured oil. Let the pieces sear without stirring for one minute, then toss and stir for three or four minutes — or until the chicken loses its pinkness. Turn up the heat if necessary so the chicken sizzles.

When the chicken pieces are cooked, place them all together in a clean bowl. Carefully wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper and place it back on the heat.
Stir frying tip
Don't crowd your pan with too much chicken. Cook it in two batches if you need to. Place the cooked chicken in a clean bowl while you sear the second batch.
Step 4: Cook the vegetables

Add the second tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and tip it so that it coats the sides.
Then add the other half of the garlic, ginger and spring onions to flavour the oil.
Toss and stir the seasonings for 30 seconds, then add the onion and the cabbage.
Toss and stir for about five minutes, or until the onion and cabbage just start to get tender. Then stir in the red pepper and mange-tout.
Add 125ml chicken stock, put a lid on the pan and cook for two or three more minutes. When they are cooked, the vegetables should be brightly coloured and tender but crisp.
Step 5: Sauce and toss

The chicken and veggies are cooked, so now it's time to combine them. Place the cooked chicken in the hot pan and toss with the vegetables until they are well mixed.
Push all the ingredients to the edges of the pan, and then pour the flavouring sauce into the middle.
Let the sauce boil and thicken for a minute, then mix it into the chicken and vegetables until everything is heated through and coated.
Pour the stir-fry over prepared rice or noodles for a quick and delicious Asian-inspired meal.
Need stir fry ideas?

Get more inspiration with our collection of Stir fry recipes, for a quick and healthy supper served up in minutes!
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