Stir-frying is one of the fundamental techniques of successful Chinese cooking, one that you ought to master if you wish to make Chinese recipes at home. Here are my quick techniques and tips for perfect everyday stir-frying.
1. The wok or skillet must be fully heated before stir-frying. You’ll know if the wok or skillet has reached the optimum heat when a swirl of white smoke starts appearing on its surface.
2. Add the oil after the wok or skillet is fully heated. Make sure that the oil completely coats the bottom surface of the wok or skillet.
3. Cut the ingredients, such as chicken, beef, pork, or seafood, into uniform pieces. Also, it’s very important to have all the ingredients prepared, measured, and placed close to the wok or skillet. Once in the wok or skillet, spread the ingredients in one layer to ensure even cooking.
4. Stir-fries are generally prepared with a light sauce. Mix the sauce in advance in a small bowl by combining all the ingredients in the sauce. If cornstarch is used, make sure that it’s completely dissolved. Before adding the sauce into the stir-fry, quickly stir the sauce one last time to ensure that nothing settled at the bottom of the bowl. An authentic Chinese stir-fry dishes shouldn’t be doused in too much sauce; the sauce should barely cling to the ingredients.
5. The spatula should play an active role in stir-frying. Use it to continuously stir and toss the ingredients in a back and forth, circular, turning, and/or flipping motions.