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Five tips for a successful stir fry

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A good stir fry depends on proper ingredient and heat management.The Maxiflame wok burner has a 150mm diameter designed to hold large woks, and direct heat towards the center where it counts in wok frying.The new Maxiflame cooking hob is designed to bring the best out of cooking with your wok.

Think “Asian cooking” and the usual image that comes to mind is that of a chef deftly manoeuvring a wok in the midst of a stir-fry. Wok frying is arguably the most frequently used cooking method in Asia, providing a large cooking area and its shape lends itself to scooping and moving ingredients around while cooking or serving.

Stir Fry

Credits: paytai

A good stir fry depends on proper ingredient and heat management.

As an added bonus, woks only get better with use, as a well-seasoned wok is believed to retain flavours from past meals and enrich new ones. To get the most out of your wok, here are five tips for a successful home-made stir-fry.

It begins with the marinade

Start the stir fry right with the marinades. Most recipes require the meat to be marinated at least 10 minutes before cooking, as this helps to enhance flavour and seal in moisture. Mixing your sauces before you cook also allows you to keep a focused eye on the dish while stir-frying.

Cut the ingredients to be marinated into bite-sized pieces before marinating, as the increased exposed surface areas will help soak in more flavour from the marinade.

Manage your ingredients

Stir-frying can be a quick and merciless process if you’re not careful, so make sure all ingredients are chopped and ready to go in the wok. As a rule of thumb, ingredients should be about the same size if you want your food cooked thoroughly at the same rate.

Meat does take longer to cook than vegetables, however, so it should be cooked first, until it’s about 80 percent done, and then set aside for later. When the veggies are nearly done, add the meat back for an even finish. Thicker and harder vegetables also take longer, so toss the carrots and broccoli in the wok first, before the onions and tomatoes.

Avoid putting too much into the wok as it can make it difficult for ingredients to cook evenly. A larger cooking hob like Electrolux’s new MaxiFlame wok burner with a large 150mm diameter, can accommodate  larger woks, making it suitable for stir-frying larger quantities for bigger families.

Maxiflame burner

The Maxiflame wok burner has a 150mm diameter designed to hold large woks, and direct heat towards the center where it counts in wok frying.

Heat it up

One of the most important factors for a successful stir fry at home is simple. It’s all in the heat. Wok frying is best complemented with a heat source that is able to sustain a consistently high temperature. When a stove is unable to provide high heat, stir-fried meals will stew and boil in their sauces rather than be fried. The latest MaxiFlame hob range channels high heat to the centre of the wok, and allows precise control of a variety of flames.

maxiflame hob

The new Maxiflame cooking hob is designed to bring the best out of cooking with your wok.

Always heat the wok before adding anything to it. Wait till the surface gives off a little smoke, then dribble in the oil to coat the surface and wait for it to get hot before adding anything else.

Oil it right

When dealing with such high heat, the oil used needs to be able to stand up to the temperature. Canola or peanut oil works best for coating the cooking surface, although some recipes will call for flavoured oils like sesame and chili oil. These should be added as flavouring but not as oil to coat the pan.

Seasoning the oil by adding garlic, ginger, chilli or shallots also help to flavour the oil for cooking.

Keep things moving

Always keep your ingredients moving by stirring or tossing. That’s why it’s called a stir-fry. It also keeps your food from burning in the high heat. Vegetables will need more tossing than meat. Spread the food along the wok’s sides and don’t lump them in the centre.

Do listen to the cooking sounds, though. If the sizzling is not loud and lively, slow down on the stirring as it dissipates heat.

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