New Zealanders have adopted the humble stir-fry as our national dish (with good reason). They can be healthy, simple and oh-so-tasty making it the perfect mid-week meal... but have you ever wondered how your local “cheap and cheerful” takeaway gets it just right every time? They may be following these simple rules.
Cook Like A Wok-Star
Our top tip for the perfect stir-fry is to use a wok with a high-powered wok burner. Most woks have a larger surface-area than frying pans, searing your protein and sealing in the juices. Frying pans may cool down when adding ingredients, causing protein to “stew”.
Many of our 90cm Freestanding Cookers feature a high-powered wok burner to help you nail the perfect stir-fry every time.
Preparation is the Key
We love whipping up a speedy stir-fry, but when everything cooks so quickly it’s easy to overcook your ingredients. To make sure your meal is cooked perfectly, wash and prep all ingredients before you start heating your wok.
Never Burn Your Garlic Again
Aromatics (e.g. : onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, etc.) are used at the start of a stir-fry to flavour your oil, imparting flavour through the whole dish. Burning these can create a bitter taste, so treat these with extra care.
To avoid burning your aromatics:
- Add onions first, letting them soften before adding your other aromatics.
- Cook all your aromatics low and slow, stirring constantly.
- Remove these from the oil before adding your protein, then stir through at the end of the cook.
There’s nothing more comforting than that soft, succulent protein from your favourite take-away. Here’s how you can do it at home:
- Look closely at the muscle fibres on your protein, then slice against the grain (the opposite direction).
- Don’t cook your protein straight from the fridge, as sudden temperatures can cause the meat to become tough.
- Try the Chinese ‘velveting’ technique – which works especially well for beef, pork and poultry.
To ‘velvet’ your strips of protein:
- Coat in a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water (using 350ml water and 1.5tsp of soda for every 500 grams of protein).
- After 15 minutes, rinse the protein to remove the bicarbonate mixture.
- Stir-fry and enjoy.
Garnish with Flare
It’s time to plate! Finish your favourite dish by sprinkling your favourite garnishes. They say good things come in threes, so we like to add something fresh (like coriander or thai basil), something for colour (like chilli or spring onion) and something for texture (sesame seeds, fried shallots or crushed nuts).
Learn more about our 90cm freestanding cookers with a high-powered work burner.