Stir Fry 101

A friend of mine from a bridal forum would like to know more about Chinese cooking. I’m not an expert, but here’s some basic tips that I had shared with her, that I thought would be useful for some readers out there:

  • Chinese cooking is like Taoism… yin & yang. That’s how you balance the flavours, salt & sugar, sweet & sour.
  • In most stirfries with sauces, you thicken with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of cold water, and add to the stirfry just before turning off the heat.
  • The sequence of making stir fry is normally in this order, some exceptions may apply:
    1.  Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a hot wok.
    2. Add the underlying flavour (garlic / ginger / onion) into the wok.
    3. Add protein (meat or tofu). You can pre-cook the protein in a wook with some hot oil and then set aside if you don’t want to overcook it. Add the protein back into the wok after adding in the last pieces of vege.
    4. Add in hard vege, e.g. carrots, celery.
    5. Add softer vege, e.g. mushrooms (with the exception of enoki mushroom becuase too much heat will make it tough and stringy).
    6. Add water to help cook down the ingredients.
    7. Add sauce, e.g. oyster, black bean, soy.
    8. Balance the flavours, i.e. add sugar / salt / pepper / flavouring essence
    9. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch + cold water mixture just before turning off the heat.
    10. Remove from heat.

I do not own any Chinese cookbooks, I pretty much just follow my intuition 🙂

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