We love stir-fry in our house, in fact it’s kind of the default meal option! Now a proper stir-fry is cooked hot and fast, and preserves a lot of the vitamins and minerals in your food. This dish that we call stir-fry is really more of a steam-fry – it starts with a little frying to really get the flavours going, then gently steams the vegetables in their own moisture.
You will need:
- a sharp knife
- a chopping board
- a wok or deep saucepan with lid
and the ingredients (for four people):
- a little oil
- 2 medium onions
- 2-3 carrots
- 1 bell pepper
- leafy green vegetable such as baby spinach
- frozen prawns or unsalted cashew nuts
Start by placing your pan on a gentle heat. Add a little oil (less than a teaspoon is fine), and slice your onion. (You can find more detailed instructions here: onions)
Add your onion to the pan, along with any spices you want to use. This recipe gets plenty of flavour from all the lovely veggies, but a little ginger or Chinese five spice is also nice.
While your onion is gently frying, cut your carrots into sticks, then add them to the pan. (More detailed cutting instructions here)
Once you’ve added your carrots, put the lid on so the vegetables can steam. The dish will take about 20 minutes from this point.
Cut your bell pepper into strips (chopping tutorial here), then add them to the pan.
While your other vegetables are cooking, check your beansprouts and leafy greens over for any that don’t look tasty.
Five minutes before serving, add your prawns (if you’re using them) and beansprouts to the pan.
Finally, add your leafy greens. (You could use frozen peas instead, but they’re harder to pick up with chopsticks!)
The stir-fry is cooked when the greens wilt down ever so slightly, and turn a brighter shade of green – this usually takes less than 5 minutes.
Stir everything together before serving. If you’re using cashew nuts instead of prawns, add them now.
This dish looks like a rainbow on a plate! I like it with rice or noodles, but it’s also delicious just as is. Serve with soy sauce; you can add some during cooking but I think it’s nice to let everyone season to their own tastes.
If you want a sweeter dish, try adding a tin of pineapple along with the beansprouts. And if you fancy a little chilli kick, some sweet chilli sauce goes beautifully!
4 thoughts on “How to Make Stir-Fry (or should that be Steam-Fry?)”
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