By Chef Alli on April 5, 2019
First Things First: Mise En Place Your Ingredients
Stir fry goes fast - your ingredients need to be ready to rock and roll, right in the moment. Having everything measured and prepped (that’s the mise en place) is essential to be sure your ingredients go in at just the precise time, and in the right order.
Insider Ingredient Secrets
A good veggie-to-meat stir fry ratio is 2-3 cups of fresh veggies per 1 pound of meat. Also, as you prep the vegetables, be sure to pat them dry (so they keep their crispness) as you cook each batch. Keep in mind that the aromatics (the garlic and the ginger) added at the very beginning of your recipe (see below) should be cooked at a low temperature, while the veggies and meats that will follow need high heat for a short amount of time.
When You’re Talking Successful Stir Fry, Size Matters
Make certain all of your ingredients are equally cut to proportion so they cook evenly. This means the meat pieces should all be cut to the very same size, as well as the veggies.
Batch Cooking is a Beautiful Thing
Good stir fry is made in small batches, there’s no getting around it. The alternative causes over-crowding in your wok, and this is precisely when stir fry goes from crisp and wonderful to soggy and sad.....a complete and utter travesty! Keep a plate or shallow dish nearby for reserving each batch that’s removed from the skillet.
Order in the Court
First comes the oil, then the aromatics, and next are the veggies as your work in batches - this sequence is crucial. Once all the veggies are cooked just to crisp-tender and reserved, it’s now time to cook the meat. After all the meat pieces are batch-cooked, return the veggies to the wok and pour in the sauce, tossing the stir fry to coat everything. Serve at once while the stir fry is piping hot!
Be Savvy with the Saucing
When you’re ready to add the sauce as the final step of your stir fry, slowly drizzle in the warm, prepared sauce, adding it only around the very outside of the wok or skillet, as close to the edge as possible. This technique is way better than simply pouring the sauce right into the middle of the ingredients in the wok since the heat from the sides of the pan can get it up to temperature quicker.