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Chinese cooking technique: Stir fry

Stir fry is the most commonly used technique in Chinese cooking. There are 2 basic ways of stir frying dishes:

  • Stir frying the ingredients directly with the marinade.
  • Marinate the ingredients first, then stir fry.

The secret to stir frying is to bring out the aroma and the taste in your ingredients without compromising the appearance and the nutrients in them. Here are a few pointers that will help you achieve them:

  • Cutting the ingredients neatly

    To preserve the freshness of the ingrednets, they have to be stir fried quickly. Thus, they need to be cut and prepared uniformly for them to be cooked evenly. Besides, it will improve the aesthetic looks of your dishes.

    Cutting techniques will be covered in a separate section.

  • Preparation is key
  • Often the dishes are overcooked simply because the chef is busy getting the rest of the ingredients. Overcooking or undercooking can and will affect the way the dishes taste and look.

  • Dry the ingredients
  • Before putting the ingredients into the wok, it is a must to dry them out first. Otherwise, the hot cooking oil will splatter all over, and the dish will not taste as good as it should.

  • Preheat the wok and oil
  • This is a crucial step. Heat the wok without oil first on high heat. Once it is hot, pour a large amount of cooking oil into the wok. Shake the wok gently so it is heated evenly and coats the bottom of the wok (this helps "season" the wok, also). Then pour out the oil into a container that you can use later for other dishes, since it is just hot cooking oil. Only after this do you put in the measured cooking oil you need for your particular dish. Once the oil is hot, then you are ready to cook!

  • Stir fry certain ingredients first
  • Certain ingredients such as green onions, garlic, ginger all have special tastes. Stir frying these ingredients first (without getting them burnt) to bring out their aroma, then adding vegetables, and the rest of the ingredients can literally make the tasters salivate as soon as the dish is presented on the table. Remember to follow your recipe directions.

  • Cook the ingredients on HIGH heat
  • If the ingredients are cooked on medium or low heat, it will bring out the moisture in them, thus diluting the aroma and the taste of the dishes. There are certain dishes that need to be cooked in medium or low heat on our website, and they will be pointed out in the recipes. But for the most part, HIGH heat is the policy.

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