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Helpful Hints All About Stir-Frying


All About Stir-Frying             

Stir Fry Preparation
Preparation is usually more time consuming in stir frying than in sautéing or pan frying. In stir frying high heat is used to cook meat and vegetables quickly in a small amount of oil.

The largest part of preparation is fine chopping aromatics such as garlic, green onion, ginger, or chili, and cutting meat and vegetables into uniform pieces, usually thin slices, shreds, or a medium dice, for quick and uniform cooking.

It is not necessary to have Asian cooking utensils, such as a seasoned wok, a long handled spatula, and a long handled scoop, but they will make the task easier. A wok is made to concentrate the heat in the center of the pan, with the edges acting as a warm resting area.

The long spatula and scoop are used to keep the food in motion, by stirring, lifting and tossing, to insure that each piece gets evenly exposed to the heat without scorching and to seal in the flavor. They also keep your hands away from the heat.

Once you begin, the cooking occurs very rapidly, and so it is important to have everything ready and near the stove before you turn on the heat.

Stir Frying Techniques
Compared to your preparation, stir frying occurs in flash. Place the wok on a high heat, and when it is hot, add peanut, corn, or canola oil.

After a few moments test the oil with a bit of the aromatics, ginger or garlic; if it sizzles the oil is ready. Then, add the aromatics.

In less than a minute they will begin to release their flavor and aroma, and you can begin to add the vegetables and meat in the order of their cooking times; those that take the longest are added first.

Stir, lift, and toss the ingredients until they are evenly cooked without scorching. Ingredients may be removed once they are cooked and returned before finishing.

Then add the liquid ingredients and seasoning. For thinly sliced or shredded dishes, turn down the heat for a few minutes while the flavors combine, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

For dishes with tougher or larger ingredients, place a lid over the wok and adjust the temperature to maintain a simmer so that the food steams until it has absorbed a portion or all of the liquid. Then return any ingredients that were removed, adjust the seasoning, stir quickly, and serve.

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