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How to make a stir-fry

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Follow our basic guide to creating a sizzling Asian-inspired dish using your favourite vegetables, spices, meat and fish.

Points to remember

  • Have all your ingredients chopped and at the ready including the sauce of your choice. If you’re using cornflour to thicken your sauce, add it to the cold liquid otherwise it will go lumpy. Stir again just before using.
  • Use a wok if you have one and because it needs to be hot, use an oil with a high smoking point, like groundnut, sunflower or corn oil.
  • Heat the oil until hot, spreading it around the pan.
  • Brown any ingredients that may burn or overcook – nuts, onions, garlic, ginger and spices. Remove and set aside.
  • Add more oil if necessary. Cook the meat for a few minutes until opaque but not totally cooked through.
  • Add the vegetables and cook to your liking. Firm vegetables like carrots, peppers and thick broccoli stalks will take longer. Leafy vegetables like spinach and bok choy as well as beansprouts can go in towards the end.
  • Toss the ingredients from centre to side of the wok. Add your sauce and any reserved ingredients. Cover to steam if further cooking is required. Stir through fresh herbs and serve.



Stir-frying is a fast cooking method, so you need to choose tender cuts of meat such as beef fillet, pork fillet or chicken breast. Prawns and salmon work well to but these will only need brief cooking.


Make sure firm vegetables are cut into small pieces so they don’t take too long to cook.


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