Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday: Stir Fry Tips

During the summer, I love making a yummy veggie stir fry with all the great garden produce that is so readily available. Here are some tips that I have learned to make my stir fries really good!

I learned this tip on how to make sure all the veggies are evenly cooked in a stir fry:
Get out a shallow pan, such as a pie plate. As you chop your veggies, layer them into the pie plate, starting with the shortest cooking veggies on the bottom and ending with the longest cooking veggies on the top. The veggies will be all ready for you to put in to the skillet with the longest cooking ones going in first.(You can do this the night before and keep in your fridge.) Here are lists of the different groups of veggies, with Group 1 needing the longest cooking time, Group 2 being the medium group and Group 3 veggies needing only a minute or so.

Group 1: potatoes(sliced thin), celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, winter squash, asparagus(if thick)

Group 2: mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, summer squash, asparagus (if thin)

Group 3: greens(spinach, chard, escarole, etc.), scallions, bean sprouts

Heat your wok or saute pan alone, then add a little oil. Add chopped onions now if you are using them. Then add whatever Group 1 veggies you have and saute until partially done. Then add Group 2 veggies and cook until everything is almost done. Put Group 3 veggies in at the very end, since these cook pretty much on contact with the other hot veggies.

The more thinly a vegetable is sliced, the more quickly it cooks.

Good Things To Do:
1)Hover over the wok as you cook: Stir very much.
2)Have everything ready before you start and within arm's reach of the stove.
3)Keep the heat high, and keep the veggies moving in the wok. Work quickly.

These ideas are taken in part from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen and Emilie Barnes and Sue Gregg's 15 Minute Meal Planner: A Realistic Approach to a Healthy Lifestyle. I hope these tips will help you, too!

Be sure to visit Rocks In My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday tips!


Trisha said...

Wow! You are the stir fry queen. I never thought to cook in stages like that and I would always hate when this one was crunchy while that one was all soggy. Thanks for the tip.

Eagles Wings said...

Ditto what Trish said...about crunchy veggies...Thanks for the tip...

Laurel Wreath said...

Great tip.... I am going to have to follow the "cook in stages" idea. Thanks.

voni said...

Great Tips! I have been trying stir fry and have had troble with soggy veggies. Thanks for sharing your experenc. I'll give it a try:)

Shalee said...

That is a great tip for those of us who haven't figured it out yet.

Tess said...

great idea w/ that, that sounds so much more appetizing than frozen stirfry kits.

cjoy said...

Yum. This past year I have gotten a little more "stir-fry" crazy, and have been learning this very thing myself.

Indeed, this sounds good for dinner...wonder what I still have on hand.

PastorMac's Ann said...

Yummy. My family loves stir-fry.