As people are learning to eat healthier foods, they are also learning healthier ways to cook. One way is to stir fry, is a technique that cooks foods quickly, using only a small amount of fat. Anyone with a large skillet and a spatula can master this technique.
Stir fry is an older cooking technique, most often seen in Asian cooking. It has gained popularity over the past 30 years or so, as its advantages of fast, healthy cooking have become apparent. This technique is also easy for the beginning cook to learn.
The first rule of thumb for cooks to remember is to think smaller. Meats and vegetables should be cut into small pieces before cooking. Actually, thinking thumb-size for the chunks is a good way for cooks to remember the ideal size. The technique also emphasizes fresh flavors and textures, so nothing is overcooked.
A cook attempting to stir fry for the first time may want think about getting a seasoning packet especially for this type of dish. These are often mixed with soy sauce and include detailed instructions as well as recipe ideas. They are often found in the Asian foods section of the supermarket. Buying frozen vegetables marked for stir fry is a good idea too, and will help the cook get a good idea of the best size for cutting up the ingredients.
Easily-cooked meats such as chicken breast or stew meat make a good meat foundation for the dish. The cook starts by cooking the meat in a small amount of fat, about 2 teaspoons (about 9.8 ml), over medium-high heat, until it is cooked through. Then, the cook can pour in a small amount of the sauce to deglaze the pan and mix it in with the browned bits from the pan. The vegetables go in next, and the cook stirs them around with the meat as they cook.
Most vegetables will cook in about five to seven minutes, and then the cook can pour in the sauce. Pre-cooked noodles may be added at this time as well, or the cook may want to serve the meal with hot rice. Cold cooked rice can also be stirred in to make a fried rice dish. The variations are endless. A cook can use chicken, beef, pork, tofu, an array of spices and preferred vegetables to make an individualized entree.