Friday, August 21, 2009
5 Easy Steps to Stir Fry
Stir fry method of cooking is very healthy. It uses less oil and leaves the food crisp and not overly cooked, and thus not stripping out all the nutrients and vitamins from raw food especially vegetables. Stir frying only takes a matter of minutes if you follow these few easy steps.1. Well equippedFirstly, a wok is a must, not pan, a big round wok. A round-based one works well using gas burner while a flat based one works well on electric stoves. A good wok is heavy usually made of cast iron or carbonated steel, easily available is departmental store and Asian hardware shops. Teflon based just doesn't give you the same rich flavor. When first purchased, the iron wok must be seasoned, heat the wok until smoke start rises from the wok, and then pour in a table spoon of peanut oil. Wipe the oil around the wok surface and throw away excessive oil. This way, all dirt will be removed from the wok surface. Secondly, a ladle is a must. Choose one with strong handle. 2. Prepare your ingredientsAll raw meat and vegetable must be cut uniformly in thickness and size in advance. This is to ensure the food is evenly cooked. Once the wok is heated, there is not enough time to cut anymore. Rice and noodles need to be pre-cook, rice to be steamed while noodles to be boiled to soft.3. Seasoning a must. Before cooking the main ingredients, Asian usually put in chopped garlic or shallots to enhance the taste of stir fry dishes. When the wok is heated, oil is put in, then garlic or shallots are put in to fry until golden brown. Only then the main ingredients are put in.4. Meat first, vegetables secondFor stir frying, this is can be considered the golden rule. Always cook meat first, vegetables second. Meat is harder to cook compared to vegetables. If both are cook together, the vegetables tend to overcook. Meat or seafood must be marinated with a pinch of salt first. Always toss the ingredients for even cooking. When stir frying rice or noodles, the goldren rule still applies, always meat first.5. Sauce and seasoningLastly, add sauce to your stir fry dish. Sauces, such as oyster sauce, or sweet and sour, thin and thick black soy sauce are added into the wok to complete the stir fry dish. Oyster sauce, thin and soya sauce is the most common, packaged in bottles and easily bought from the supermarket shelves. Sweet and sour is popular unique but it's just simply tomato sauce and sugar. Simply put in the sauce after the meat and vegetables are cook in the wok, sauté for a while, and the dish is ready to serve.