Stir-fries are my go-to meal. I find that every time you make them they are slightly different to the one before. A bit more of this, a bit less of this, cook this for longer and don’t cook this too much.
You can jam pack as many colourful veges into your stir-fries as you like using any combination of fresh or frozen vegetables. Everything cooks so quickly so it’s a great weeknight meal for students and families to whip up. It also makes delicious leftovers!
Here are some of my top tips for making killer stir-fries:
- Be prepared – stir-fries are more about the prepping than the actual cooking. Make the dressing in advance and chop everything up before you start frying. Grating your vegetables will save even more time and they will cook more evenly. You can even grate onions!
- Whenever you add anything to the wok/ large frypan you should hear it sizzling so that you know that it’s hot enough. You should be able to feel the heat coming off with your hands placed briefly overtop.
- Cheaper cuts of meat need to be either marinated or set aside to sit in their own juices after being seared. You may need to brown the meat off in 2 batches to prevent it from stewing and becoming tough.
- There are no rules when it comes to stir-fries. Use up any leftover vegetables in your fridge and make up the rest with frozen vegetables.
Asian Beef Stir-fry
- 2 Tbsp oil, for frying
- 500 g beef schnitzel, sliced into strips
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups chopped green vegetables e.g. bok choy, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli
- 1 cup chopped colourful vegetables e.g. carrots, red and yellow capsicum, green and purple cabbage
- Optional extras to garnish: sesame seeds, lightly toasted peanuts or cashews, extra sliced spring onion
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce/ tamari
- The juice of a lemon/ lime
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp chilli powder/ flakes (or to taste)
- A roughly chopped bunch of fresh herbs such as coriander, Vietnamese mint or parsley
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup/ honey
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or ½ tsp ginger powder)
- Start with the dressing. Place everything into a jar with a lid and shake until well combined.
- Slice the meat into thin strips across the grain. Heat the wok/ large frying pan over a high heat, adding the oil just before necessary to prevent it from burning.
- Season the meat liberally and then stir fry the beef with 1 or 2 wooden spoons until the outside just changes colour. Set the beef aside in a bowl with a plate on top.
- With the wok/ frying pan still on a high heat, add another tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the vegetables in order of their cooking time until just cooked. Pour the dressing over the veges and mix through. If the wok/ frying pan gets too dry you can add a bit of water or even some good quality stock to lightly steam the veges.
- Return the beef with its juices to the wok/ frying pan and stir-fry briefly until the meat is evenly distributed through the vegetables. Serve immediately with brown rice or buckwheat/rice noodles.