Need to get dinner in a hurry? For a fresh, flavor-packed meal that cooks up in 15 minutes, the classic stir-fry is a smart choice. To help you master the perfect stir-fry technique, we've broken it down into just five easy steps. That's all you'll need to create healthy, mouthwatering recipes, from Broccoli and Beef With Oyster Sauce to Cauliflower Masala With Tofu.
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Step 1: Prep your ingredients
Once the heat is on, things move fast, and you don't want to risk scorching. Have everything sliced, diced and ready to go. (Hint: Freeze steak for 15 minutes before slicing. This will make it easier to slice thinly and evenly.) Whip up a quick sauce, too, before you heat the pan.
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Step 2: Grab your pan
No wok? No problem. A large nonstick skillet works well. Make sure it's at least 12 inches; stir-fries require space. Next, heat things up. Get the pan and oil seriously hot before cooking. The temperature will drop once you add ingredients.
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Step 3: Cook your main ingredient
Whether it's chicken, seafood, tofu, meat or even a starring vegetable, cook it in batches for best browning. (If the pan is packed, the food will steam instead of sear.) Don't move it around before it's properly seared, or you won't get a nice crust.
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Step 4: Add vegetables and aromatics
Next in the pan are the vegetables (or the remaining ones, if your main ingredient is a veggie). Add those that take longer, such as carrots, before quicker-cooking ones, like bell peppers. Toss in aromatics last to avoid burning.
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Step 5: Stir in sauce
Add the reserved protein (or starring veggie) back to the pan along with the sauce you premade. Cook, tossing well, until everything is heated through and the sauce is bubbling. (It shouldn't take longer than a minute or two.)
7 of 10Romulo Yanes
Broccoli and Beef With Oyster Sauce
This is the perfect meal to try going lighter on protein and heavier on vegetables. There's so much texture and flavor, you won't miss the meat.
If you don't have a wok, a large nonstick skillet works just as well. Just make sure it's at least 12 inches; stir-fries need space.
Ingredients: Fresh lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, low-sodium soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, chicken breasts, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, kosher salt, tortillas