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How to Make a Perfect Stir Fry: The Ultimate Guide

Stir fry is a great way to get a quick and healthy meal on the table.

But if you’ve never made one before, it can be a little intimidating.

Fear not! We’re here to help. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of making the perfect stir fry.

We’ll give you tips on ingredients, cooking techniques, and serving suggestions.

So read on, and learn how to make the perfect stir fry.

What You Need To Make A Stir Fry

A stir fry is a quick and easy meal to make, but there are a few things you’ll need to have on hand before you start cooking.

The first thing you’ll need is a wok or large frying pan. A wok is ideal for stir-fries, as it has a deep well and flared sides that help keep the ingredients from sticking.

If you don’t have a wok, you can use a large frying pan instead. Just make sure that the pan is big enough to hold all of the ingredients.

You’ll also need some basic kitchen supplies, including:

  • A cutting board
  • A sharp knife
  • A spoon or spatula

Stir Fry Ingredients

A stir fry is made up of the following components;

ingredients for stir fry

Oil – What Is The Best Oil For A Stir Fry?

When it comes to choosing an oil for a stir fry you’ll want to choose an oil that has a high smoke point. This means that the oil can withstand high temperatures without burning.

High smoke point oils include :

  • Groundnut oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sunflower oil

If you’re not sure which oil to use, canola oil is a good option. It has a high smoke point and a mild flavour.


The protein is the star of the show in a stir fry. You can use any type of protein you like, including:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Tofu
  • Prawn
  • Fish

Aim for about 200g of protein for 4 servings.


The vegetables are what give the stir fry its flavour and crunch. You can use any vegetables you like, but some favourites include:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Bell peppers
  • Pak choi
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli

The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing vegetables for a stir fry. Just make sure that you have enough to fill up half of your wok or pan – about 500g to 600g for 4 servings.

Stir Fry Sauce

sweet chilli sauce recipe

The stir fry sauce is what brings all of the flavours together. You can use a store-bought sauce, or make your own.

Some of our favourites include:

Optional Extras and Stir Fry Sides

Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start experimenting with different ingredients and sides.

Some of our favourites include:

  • Stir fry noodles
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Dumplings
  • Spring Rolls

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How To Make A Stir Fry – Step By Step

Now that you have everything you need, let’s walk through the steps of making a stir fry.

Step One: Prep The Ingredients

chopped vegetables for stir fry

Before you start cooking, you’ll need to prepare the ingredients. This means cutting the vegetables and meat into bite-sized pieces.

If you’re using tofu, you’ll need to drain and press it to remove the excess water.

It’s important to chop the vegetables into small strips or pieces so that they cook quickly and are ready at the same time.

Step Two: Heat The Wok

Next, you’ll need to heat the wok or frying pan. Turn the heat on as high as it can go and place the wok on it. When it is hot (a sprinkle of water should evaporate quickly when added to the wok surface), add a tablespoon of oil and swirl it around.

Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 1 minute, enough time to flavour the oil.

Step Three: Add The Protein

stir fried beef

If you’re using chicken or pork, cook it over medium-high heat until it’s browned on all sides. If you’re using beef or prawn, cook it until it’s just done – about 90 seconds to two minutes.

Remove the protein from the wok and set it to one side.

A note about cooking the protein: the protein is usually the first ingredient to be cooked in a stir fry. This can be done in two ways:

  • Stir-fry the protein over high heat until it’s cooked through.
  • Marinate the protein in some of the sauce and then cook it in the wok. This will give the stir fry a more intense flavour.

Step Four: Add The Vegetables

vegetables in frying pan

Add the vegetables to the wok and stir fry for three to four minutes, or until they are tender-crisp.

Step Five: Add The Protein And The Sauce

noodles vegetables and beef in fying pan to make stir fry

Return the protein to the wok and finally, add the sauce to the wok and cook for one to two minutes.

Step Six: Garnish

The final step is to garnish the stir fry with some chopped peanuts, roasted sesame seeds or some torn fresh herbs.

Step Seven: Serve

Serve the stir fry in bowls with a scoop of rice or noodles. Add some eggs, dumplings or spring rolls on the side for a complete meal.

Adding Noodles To A Stir Fry

You can add cooked noodles or rice to a stir fry during step five if you wish. It’s a great way to add in leftover rice or noodles

And there you have it – a delicious and healthy stir fry that the whole family will love!

Popular Stir Fry Recipes

stir fry beef noodles

Stir Fry Tips and Troubleshooting

  • If your stir fry is coming out too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water to the wok or frying pan.
  • Make sure that you don’t overcrowd the wok or frying pan – this will cause the vegetables to steam instead of stir fry. Stir fry in batches if necessary.
  • Cut the ingredients thinly and evenly so that the outside doesn’t burn before the inside is able to cook and soften.
  • Keep the ingredients in the centre of the wok rather than the sides if you can, this is where it is at its hottest.
  • Ensure the wok or frying pan is as hot as possible before adding any food to it. The oil should be smoking.
  • To keep the stir fry from becoming too greasy, use a light touch when adding oil to the wok.
  • If you’re not using a pre-made sauce, it’s important to season your stir fry with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir fry is also great with some sriracha or chilli garlic sauce added in.

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