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(Food.com)   Fark Food Thread: Are you a stir-fry wizard? What makes your wok sizzle? Have a tool or trick that makes your creation come out right every time? Pics, tips, recipes, and happiness to your right   ( food.com) divider line
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2263 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Apr 2013 at 5:00 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-04-18 02:54:26 PM  
4 votes:
Some tips for stir fry:

1) Flavor your oil before you fry:

The problem with flavorless stir fry is easy to fix when you are cooking with the wok. Instead of just tossing vegetable and meat into the oil and start frying, try giving the oil flavor first. Before you start to fry, cut up half a stalk of scallions into small pieces. If you don't have scallions, you can make do with finely diced onions.

When you put your oil into your wok, heat your wok until the oil starts to pop. Then throw in your scallions or onions and let it deep fry for a few seconds before you put your vegetables or meat in. It will allow the oil to take on a savory oniony taste which will make your stir fry taste way better.

2) Instant marination of meat.

Are your stir fried meats tough and overcooked? Do an instant marinate instead to keep it tender and moist. Cut your meat into small pieces - cubes or slices. Then, mix up corn starch, a beaten egg and a marinade of your choice (usually soy sauce is fine). Cover your meet with this mixture.

When you are ready to cook your meat (cook the meat before you put in the vegetables, the vegetables will overcook if you do it the other way around) - throw the meat in. The corn starch will make the marinade stick to the meat, while the egg will instantly cook, sealing in the marinade with the meat, preventing it from drying out too quickly.
2013-04-18 06:57:14 PM  
2 votes:
My tip is to use fresh orange/red/yellow bell peppers, and julienne them!  Julienne means to cut into narrow strips.   It doesn't seem like this should make such a big difference, but in fact it is a big deal.

Also, use shallots instead of onions.
2013-04-18 05:15:22 PM  
2 votes:
Chilis and Stews utilizing beef - add anchovy filet, you will get a huge boost in beef flavor.

For oriental foods, oyster sauce and fish sauce are your friends while cooking and making the sauce glaze.

When you stir-fry, you want that damned thing HOT. Oil should be just smoking and you use a high-temp oil. Electric burners work best for flat-pan stir-fry, gas for traditional-shaped wok.

2 cup flour 2/3 cup oil 2/3 cup water a dash of salt and baking powder = instant tortillas, roll it out and throw on a hot pan/comale.

Your typical cheap Ramen is best used making dishes similar to Yakisoba - boil the noodles, then fry them. Use the soup packet to create a sauce glaze with the addition of some corn starch.

For a quick flavor boost for rice, add a tiny bit of fresh chopped mint and cilantro after the rice has cooked, mix well, let it sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.

For BBQ/grills, fruits and peppers are your best friend. Raspberry Chipotle, for example, is killer for chicken. Pineapple and habanero is awesome for pork. Beef works well with a bit of lime and jalapeno.

And my personal favorite - quarter two onions, separate all the layers, put those in a boat of aluminum foil with lots of leftover foil to fold over and seal, melt 4oz butter, mix in 2 oz brown sugar, pour that over onions, cover/seal, put in oven at 450 for an hour and a half. This will go well with practically any dish, and is awesome standalone.
2013-04-18 05:04:20 PM  
2 votes:
1. Season your wok well.
2. Heat the crap out of it
3. Use very little peanut oil
4. Toss in the oil then follow up quickly with small amounts of stuff
5. After each type of stuff is cooked, you can remove it, then add some more stuff
6. Once all the stuff piles have been cooked, toss all the cooked stuff in
7. Add your finishing sauce with thickener if you have to
8. Do not cook the sauce at too high of a heat. At the end it's more like the wok is used for simmering

This is they way I do it. It may be the wong wei but it's mai wei.
2013-04-18 02:53:58 PM  
2 votes:

ahab: Pad Thai is probably my favorite thing I've ever made in my wok.

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 640x512]

ohh... yeah.. yum.  going to make that soon.  I love making it at home because I can't have it anywhere else.. I am allergic to peanuts, so I make it with cashews
2013-04-18 02:50:23 PM  
2 votes:
Taste the sauce!  I always have soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin, honey, sambal oelek, fish sauce, and sesame oil on hand.  You can use any or all of them, just taste it and adjust.  Corn starch helps the sauce stick.
2013-04-18 06:50:32 PM  
1 vote:
praxcelis, I'm stealing that term. It describes it perfectly :-)
2013-04-18 06:48:56 PM  
1 vote:

redslippers: Like a lot of other people in this thread I really like the Lodge cast iron wok. you can nestle it directly int he coals of a campfire or into hot coals and it holds heat incredibly well. Super heavy, but I really prefer it over the carbo steel ones I have used in the past.

Most of the time to stir fry is prep, so I prep as the week goes along. When I cook rice, I make a bunch extra (it's rice, it is no extra work to make a big pot) and keep it in quart bags in the freezer. I do the same with noodles. When I prep certain meats, I buy an extra piece or two and cut them for stirfry and pop into a freezer bag, like an extra steak or chicken breast.

Then as the week goes buy and I prep veggies for dinner, I prep a few extra of whatever I'm making and put in the fridge. When I have enough for stir-fry, I just defrost a baggie of protein and let a baggies of rice or noodles if I am using them come to room temp and all the prep is done. Dinner in just a few minutes.

I also freeze the little bits left over from stuff like chili sauce and tomato paste when the jar is nearly empty. I just keep an ice cube tray in a freezer bag and add bits here and there. Then I have small portions of all kinds of sauces, including stuff like my candied jalapenos, homemade curry paste, and such to combine together on a whim.

It's actually the easiest meal we make when it is warm out. And nestling the wok in a camp fire adds an amazing smokey flavor.

We call this approach SFR, or "Stir Fried Random".   Whatever has been hanging around in the plastic rectangles in the fridge enjoys a comeback as SFR fodder.
2013-04-18 05:30:06 PM  
1 vote:
For you people using American broccoli in your stir-frys, you need to cut them down to size. No need to blanch, just cut them down to bite-size and roughly as thin as your other vegetables (I slice the stem into 2mm thick slices and take the florets and quarter those.)
2013-04-18 04:26:08 PM  
1 vote:

I_Am_Weasel: One of the keys to being a good stir-fry wizard is having a supple wrist.

You're late.
2013-04-18 04:20:59 PM  
1 vote:
Fark Food Thread: Are you a stir-fry wizard?

Yes.  Here are my tips:

1. stand like a statue.
2. Become part of the karahi.
3. Feel all your ingredients
4. Keep utensils clean
5. Cook by intuition.
6. don't let ingredients 'fall'.

And most important of all:

7. have a supple wrist.
2013-04-18 03:13:40 PM  
1 vote:

msupf: Best stir fry tip I ever got:

use a deep fryer burner setup.

Normal stove top burners just cannot put out enough BTU's to get the wok hot enough. Ever since I started using an outdoor burner setup, the recipes cook up much better.

I have one similar to this, made in Michigan:
http://images.netshops.com/mgen/digimarc.ms?img=master:EO023.jpg&h=4 00 &w=400
images.netshops.comView Full Size

The grate reverses for normal pots and the legs go lower for a lobster boil. It's friken awesome. Very high BTU.
2013-04-18 02:57:32 PM  
1 vote:
i38.photobucket.comView Full Size
2013-04-18 02:56:47 PM  
1 vote:

Ceteris Paribus says: Stir fry is about to be made illegal.

I... I don't think it's made in pressure cookers...
2013-04-18 02:48:46 PM  
1 vote:
Yes, I make a lot of stir frys.

My wok rusted out though and I had to chuck it. So my stir frys are more like pan frys now.
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