Lee Kum Kee

How To Make Stir Fry: Cooking The Fastest, Freshest Chinese Dishes

29 October 2021

One of the most crowd-pleasing styles of Chinese cookery, stir-frying dates all the way back to the Ming dynasty – when it originated as a way to cook food quickly, without wasting expensive fuel. This speed is the reason it’s remained so popular from 1368 and continues to do so! It only takes 20 minutes to get this fresh, flavour-packed dish from prep to plate. And when you make your own, you can choose your ingredients and there are plenty of options for a healthy take on the dish. Take a look at our complete guide on how to make stir fry – it couldn’t be easier.

What ingredients should I use in a stir fry?

Typically, the dish consists of protein, vegetables and sauce – you could also add cooked noodles to soak up the goodness and really make a meal of it. A lot of the flavour and aroma in stir fry also comes from the Chinese Holy Trinity of garlic, ginger and spring onions, so you’ll find these three ingredients in a lot of different dishes. How to make stir fry and choosing your ingredients is up to you! There’s are recipes to suit any occasion, and more often than not you can use up anything you’ve got in the fridge.


Instead of ordering a takeaway, create your own version of popular dishes like Kung Pao Chicken, Beef with Broccoli or Black Bean Stir Fry – these stir fried classics are sure to be hit with the whole family.  Or if you’re staring at a fridge full of leftovers, a stir fry is the answer to transform them into a quick and delicious meal. It could be potatoes, aubergine and green bell pepper, or green beans and bean sprouts in crunchy sesame seeds. The best vegetables to stir fry are whatever you have to hand.


While stir fries are great for midweek meals, they’re perfect for a special occasion too. This fast, fresh method of cooking is a great way to serve more luxurious meats like duck and venison, or try Ching He Huang’s version of ‘Ants in the Tree’ -  a decadent pork and crab noodle dish inspired by her trip to Shanghai.


What do I need to do before I start cooking?

The principle behind making a stir fry is to cook your ingredients quickly in a small amount of very hot oil. To keep frying it as fast as possible, it’s important to properly prepare all your ingredients. So before you turn up the heat, we recommend you:


  • Marinade any meat, fish or tofu in your choice of sauce. Doing this for just 15 minutes will make sure your stir fry is packed with flavour.
  • Chop all your ingredients into similar size pieces to make sure everything cooks evenly.
  • Prepare your sauce. If you’re using the Lee Kum Kee convenient sachet sauces, this is as easy as ripping open the packet – or you can create your own by combining classic flavours.
  • Plan the order your ingredients will go in the pan – start with the item that’ll take longest to cook and work backwards from there.


With everything ready to go, it’s time to start stir frying! A wok will give you the best results, but if you don’t have one, you can use any good frying pan as long as it’s non-stick. Set the heat to high and when the wok gives off a little smoke add a small amount of oil. The best oil to use for stir fry has a high smoking point, so vegetable or groundnut is ideal. After a couple of minutes, begin adding the ingredients in your planned order – using a spatula or chopsticks to stir everything quickly together so the heat distributes evenly.


Wok hei translated means the ‘breath of the wok’, it can be achieved through high heat and tossing techniques giving stir fry its famous smoky flavour. So, remember to keep your ingredients moving and listen for the sizzle while you’re frying to make sure the pan is hot enough.


Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry

What products will help me make a great stir fry?

At Lee Kum Kee, we have a whole range of sauces perfect for stir frying – whether you want something that’s ready to go, or have the time to mix up your own.


For the ultimate convenience, there’s the selection of authentic sachet sauces. Flavours include Sichuan Spicy Garlic, Hong Kong Honey and Soy and Rich & Savoury Noodle, giving you a real taste of the far east in minutes.  If you just can’t choose, there’s a complete selection of these sauces in our ultimate stir fry starter pack – as well as the sesame wok oil, specially designed for stir frying. Or, choose some key sauces to help you make a stir fry out of absolutely anything – try mixing and matching Oyster, Chilli Garlic and Hoisin to start your journey.


For more top tips on how to make stir fry, take a look at more of our authentic recipes

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