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Old 03-31-2007, 12:51 PM   #1
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Need help Stir Frying Veggies!

Hey all. About a year ago i ventured on a diet. This caused me to start cooking, A LOT! i'm enjoying it thus far.

My question today (first of many) is regarding cooking vegetabls, more specifically stir fry.

the way i've been doing it is with a generic non stick pan, some extra virgin olive oil, then my veggies. usually this consists of hot peppers, green peppers, onions, mushrooms.

Whats the best way to do them, and is there certain pan's that are better than others? Also, what is the best heat? I have been setting the pan at about medium, and cooking that way. i find my veggies turn out kind of soggy, i'd like them a bit more firm, but cooked (does that make sence?)

Thanks in advance


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Old 03-31-2007, 01:05 PM   #2
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Crank up the heat. When stirfrying the key is very hot (maybe change your oil as olive oil has a lower flashpoint than some others) pan and hot oil and short cooking time.

If you can find a good wok you will be much happier with the results I think. Hope this helps, welcome to DC.
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
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I will have to reiterate what Alix said. A good wok can be found inexpensively at any Asian market. Look up the correct procedures to begin using your wok first.

Let your wok heat up until you see smoke coming from it. A little drizzle of peanut oil (if you can't use peanut use a safflower or canola oil), swirl around the best you can. Toss in veggies and constantly "stir fry" them. If you have to add a bit more oil that's fine - you can even add a bit of water or a mixture of stock/soy sauce, Hoisin, sesame oil for more flavor. Just keep tossing.

Also, be sure to cut up your veggies in a fairly skinny julienne style. This will help them cook much faster and not turn out mushy.

You had to much surface space and were cooking them too low for them to ever turn out crispy. If you can't get your hands on a wok right away just crank up the heat to almost high. Oh, and another thing. Don't salt your vegetables while they are cooking. That tends to make them produce a lot of water, which will also cause soggy vegetables. The object is VERY little liquid, whether it's in the form of oil or the above mixture, high heat, and stirring, stirring, stirring.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:28 PM   #4
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ditto what they said. And canola like olive oil is a mono saturated oil (good for you)
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:37 AM   #5
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WEll i took your advice, i dont have a wok yet, but i cranked the heat. Veggies definatly turned out much better, however i think i burnt my pan :(.. it's got black spots all over it that i cant wash off. i guess i got a few more tricks to learn! ha

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Old 04-02-2007, 11:40 AM   #6
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Dont use a nonstick pan. Use a stainless or cast iron pan that's smoking hot.
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:43 AM   #7
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The one i used was stainless, not non stick. it's not burnb ad, i just have a bunch of littel black spots on it i cant scrub off. not too worried about it. :)
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srm
Hey all. About a year ago i ventured on a diet. This caused me to start cooking, A LOT! i'm enjoying it thus far.

My question today (first of many) is regarding cooking vegetabls, more specifically stir fry.

the way i've been doing it is with a generic non stick pan, some extra virgin olive oil, then my veggies. usually this consists of hot peppers, green peppers, onions, mushrooms.

Whats the best way to do them, and is there certain pan's that are better than others? Also, what is the best heat? I have been setting the pan at about medium, and cooking that way. i find my veggies turn out kind of soggy, i'd like them a bit more firm, but cooked (does that make sence?)

Thanks in advance

Welcome to DC, srm.

Stir-frying is a healthy lo fat way to cook, imo, because (for one) you use very little oil, and food is cooked quickly & retains the nutrients. But, you need the right cookware. A wok is preferrable, but I found a very deep, very large heavy skillet-like piece of cookware that has a non-stick surface & a long handle. I also steam food using a large lid cover - dumplings etc.

Use only a few drops of oil (not evoo) veg oil or canola, until the oil gets hot - not smoking, on med-hi heat. If you want to do a lot of stir-fry cooking, I suggest buying a cookbook for Oriental/wok cooking. I started out with a book from Kikkoman, but there are lots of recipes on their site.
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:32 PM   #9
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My oil of choice when Stir-frying is Peanut oil....
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:46 PM   #10
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As others have posted, high heat is your best friend when it comes to stir-frying anything.

Another tip is to pre-blanch tougher, thicker vegetables first. I normally blanch broccoli, cauliflower, & thick-cut carrots in boiling water for about 2 minutes before draining & stir-frying them.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:45 PM   #11
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I started stir frying on a diet too. You already know about the high heat, but also try a little fresh ginger, curry paste, sesame oil, sesame seeds, or really dark soy sauce. It changes the flavor of you dish in a great way and you won't get tired of the healthy veggies as fast.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:41 PM   #12
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yep like Alix said a good hot wok is key, and I use soy sauce to flavor my stir fry...
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:25 AM   #13
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Hi,

To remove the black spots that get left on when you burn things, you can do one of two things, 1) take one of those tablets for using in the dishwasher, put water in the pan and let it boil for about 20 minutes with the tablet in the water. or 2) if the pan is stainless steel, use something like VIM the cream cleanser and a scrub pad.

I once burnt oil on a pot making pop corn (whoops forgot about it) and after a few times with the dishwasher tablet, the stains all came off.

If it is the bottom of the pan (i.e. the part that sits on the heat) then use VIM or CIF or whatever brand you have. If it is the part of the pan where the food is cooked, then the dishwasher tablet should work very well.

As well, that is a good way to clean the things that catch the drippings on an electric stove you know the pans that go under the elements, put them in a pot of water on the stove top with the dishwasher tablet in it. Probably using the same amount of powder that you would put in your dishwasher would be just as effective. I keep a box of the tablets. I don't have an electric dishwasher (I am the dishwasher *grin*)
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