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Old 04-16-2005, 06:31 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8
What is the technique behind a good stir fry?

i want to learn stir fry , any tips specially for chinese chicken chowmein , any tios and idea's , pls tell me , how to start ....
thanks alot bye


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Old 04-17-2005, 05:04 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
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There are a few important tips to remember when cooking with this sort of method:

1. Have all your ingredients ready within reach before you start. The various types of ingredients should be cut to a uniform size that reflects their cooking time (longer cooking time = smaller size piece).

2. Have you cooking surface (generally a wok) blisteringly hot, and keep it that way by not overcrowding the wok/pan.

3. Stagger the cooking time of various ingredients (for example you would add the stems of bok choi before you added the leaves due to the longer cooking time).

4. Keep everything moving to ensure even cooking and to prevent burning.

Those are just a few quick tips, I'm sure some of the other members can add lots more.

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Old 04-17-2005, 05:36 AM   #3
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Location: Netherlands
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Where do you live? You might consider going to the library and looking at some cookbooks. Then you can see it in pictures.

"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness"----Ella Schiaparelli
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Old 04-17-2005, 05:01 PM   #4
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Location: Fort Worth, TX
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Well, first off - stir fry is a technique, not a recipe. You start off with having ALL of your ingredients ready before you even think about heating up your wok.

Stir fry is all about rapid cooking over high heat ... so ingredients need to be cut thin and cooked in the order of which will take the longest to cook. There are also some tricks on how vegetables like carrots and celery are cut - thin and on a very steep bias so they have a greater surface area exposed to the heat.

I agree with Pam ... don't know where you live but a trip to the library would be enlightening. But, the Internet is also a great resource if you take the time to explore it. If you go to a search engine like Google and search on "stir fry techniques" you'll find LOTS of on-line resources. Okay - I did that part for you ... just click on this link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...fry+techniques

Another search, on wok cooking techniques, is here: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ing+techniques

One thing I would suggest ... get a real wok (carbon steel) and stay from non-stick and electric woks. If you get the temp high enough you'll ruin a non-stick pan, and an electric wok doesn't get hot enough. I honestly don't know about the cooking performance of a cast iron wok.

A good place to get a real carbon steel wok, for the best price, is an asian market. They will generally be coated with lacquer .. so you have to heat them up to burn the lacquer off, then wash with soap and steel wool, dry and season like you would cast iron.

In a commercial kitchen the burners got hotter than on a home stovetop ... and most chinese restaurants have "wok burners" that get even hotter - humm, like the difference between cooking over a candle and the afterburner of a F-15. I've seen Martin Yan cook on TV, and I saw him cook in his restaurant on one of these stoves ... it took him over 5 minutes on a home stove on his TV show to make what he did in under 2 minutes at his restaruant!
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 05-21-2005, 06:05 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 174
I think Michael gave you all the really really important tips, (as he always does). I also use a carbon steel wok and after many years it looks a mess, although clean, but cooks great with no sticking. I used to have a gas stove before moving to our current home last year and now I have electric. I found that I have to use the wok burner that had come with the wok many years ago, because the round bottom on the wok does not "sit" properly on my flat electric cooktop. whereas with the gas it wasn't necessary. I was just glad that I had still saved the wok burner thing or I would have been in trouble. Otherwise, the next most important thing I would suggest, as have others, is that it is an absolute must to have all ingredients diced, chopped, etc. ready before heating the wok. Things do cook unbelievably fast. So, the real time involved in preparing a wok meal is all in the prep work, not cooking. It's fun tho' and lots of things can go together, actually just about any combination you like. Have fun with it! I do wish Food Network would have more shows on this topic.
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