Chinese Food – How To Stir-Fry Chinese Food Like A Pro

2December 2021

To stir-fry Chinese food like a pro, you must first grasp the basics. Eating out is great but let’s face it – you can’t do it every night.

And if you fancy getting creative in making your favourite food, then stir-frying is the place to start.

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How To Stir-Fry Chinese Food Like A Pro

Below let’s go over five essential tips that everyone should know to make the perfect stir-fry. 

 

Let us start with the number one vital step to take. 

01- Buy Yourself A Suitable Pan for Stir-Fry

A wok is a Chinese cooking utensil intended for use over a high-temperature open flame of such heat that with a small amount of oil will cook its contents in short order leaving the majority of nutrition in the food.

If you watch an expert use a traditional wok you’ll notice that they are designed for being moved vigorously across the fire during cooking. That’s one reason the bottom of the wok is rounded.

The roundness makes it easy to move the wok back and forth and side to side. Small woks get designed with one handle while larger woks may come with two, as shown below.

chinese-cooking-utensil-wok
Chinese-cooking-utensil-wok

 

These days, while many people have gas ovens a home, the use of induction hobs are on the increase. If using an induction hob, you’ll want to obtain a suitable induction-ready wok beforehand.

luckily, there are many kinds and sizes of wok available with non-stick features, single handles, shapes and lids.

Also, be aware that you won’t want to be performing vigorous stir-frying on your induction hob. Induction hobs don’t have open flames so you’ll need to be smarter when using them along with your induction-ready wok.

Optional – What is Induction?

Before moving on it’s worth spending a minute understanding what induction is. This is not a science blog but, put simply, induction is a way of generating electricity using magnetism.

This is what I’ve considered real magic in this world to be. You turn your hob on, alternating current (current that keeps reversing direction) goes through it, and it makes a dynamic magnetic field that will indirectly produce heat because of the magnetic field.

So that magic is with an induction-ready pan the magnetic field penetrates the top of the hob and into the pan causing electricity to get generated – the swirling mass of electricity in the pan generates heat.

The hobs all come with the capability to adjust the electricity and thus the heat.

Here’s an example of an induction hob

chinese-cooking-induction-hob-cooktop
Modern apartment with contemporary interior, built-in kitchen appliance and white tile on wall with copy space. Black ceramic induction stove with a saucepan, wooden cutlery and cutting board

When making the perfect stir-fry, what pan you should use is crucial to keep in mind. In Chinese cooking, they typically use a wok (see above) for stir-fry. Therefore, woks are essential for cooking Chinese cuisine.

While they do this in traditional Chinese cuisine, it is best not to use woks all of the time. With that said, there are other pans that you can use. 

Using pans made with carbon or stainless steel is perfect when making stir-fry. Unlike woks, the bottom of these pans has a wider width at the bottom that will make your food stay in contact with the heat.

So, find a pan that is carbon or stainless steel before you begin making the stir-fry. 

02: Preparing Your Ingredients Before Cooking 

Preparing ingredients is a time-saving activity before you start any recipe. For stir-fry, preparing ingredients is an excellent idea to create a great stir-fry.

It would help if you cut each ingredient differently. It is good to cut them the same size for vegetables, while you should slice meats in thin strips or chunks. This slicing makes it easier to cook. 

 It would help if you also considered blanching your vegetables before you start the stir-fry. Blanching your vegetables beforehand will reserve the flavours that will accompany your dish.

As for meat, you don’t need to cook it ahead of time as this will cause it to lose its flavour. 

03: First Cook Ingredients That Take the Longest 

The next tip that you should do is first to cook ingredients that take the longest to cook. When making stir-fry, timing is essential to consider. 

The ingredients you should begin with are those food elements that more than a few minutes like: 

    • Aromatics 
    • Meat 
    • Vegetables (both soft and hearty) 
    • Any seasoning that you are planning to use 

Once you cook these ingredients, you can then begin with ingredients that take less time to cook. 

04: Minimise the Amount of Sauce You Use

Another ingredient that makes your stir-fry stand out is the sauce. The sauce will bring more tasty flavours to your stir-fry. 

On the other hand, you don’t want to have too much sauce in your dish. When adding the sauce, it is best to reserve the sauce on the side until cooked.

When you do this, you will preserve all the flavours from your ingredients. 

05: Keep Your Stir-Fry Moving

The last thing that makes a good stir-fry is stirring it often. If you have already cooked the ingredients, then it will cook faster. High-temperature woks containing food without regular stirring will cause the food to burn – avoid this.

However, you want to make sure everything is cooked to perfection before you begin serving it. You should stir your pan constantly and check to see if the ingredients are not undercooked. 

Conclusion – How To Stir-Fry Chinese Food Like A Pro

These are the essential tips that will make the perfect stir-fry like professionals do.

Where In Wembley Can I Eat Great Chinese Food?

If you have a different perspective or view, be sure to leave them in the comments section below.

Don McDonald

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