I've been cooking Asian food since the early 1970's, probably have at least 30 or more cookbooks concerning it, & yet many times was STILL disappointed in the results.
Then, at a 2nd-hand book sale recently, I picked up a copy of The Key to Chinese Cooking
by Irene Kuo. My stir-fries in particular have never been the same, & I'd willingly hold them up to the best any Chinese restaurant has to offer.
I have a basic small well-seasoned steel wok purchased from a Chinese grocery store back in the 70's, along with the requisite "ring" for using it on my electric - yes, electric with element coils - stove. "Heat" has never been a problem.
The two techniques that have made the biggest difference in my results?
1) "Velveting", which is mixing meat, poultry, or fish with a combination of egg white & cornstarch & partially cooking it very briefly in simmering water, stock, or hot oil, before stir-frying it.
2) IMMEDIATELY, & I mean IMMEDIATELY removing the completed stir-fried dish to a warm serving bowl or platter. Never, ever serve the dish directly from the wok.
While these 2 things may sound ridiculously easy, the results have been night & day different so far.
This book should be MUST reading for anyone interested in cooking good Chinese food. I don't think it's still in print, but is probably available from 2nd-hand on-line bookstores like www.abebooks.com