When it comes to healthy and tasty dinner ideas, stir-frying is a great way to keep things simple at home. Once you learn the basics, you can prepare an unlimited number of delicious dishes to make dinner exciting.
Stir is up!
As the name suggests, stir-frying is a method of cooking meats and veggies in a frying pan or wok. Traditionally, stir-frying is an Asian-style technique; however, you don’t have to exclusively use Asian ingredients to prepare a great-tasting dinner. It’s a wonderfully flexible dish that can be made either from easy recipes or whatever you have in your refrigerator.
Benefits to eating stir fry’s
(No additional fat or sweetener added)
- The method of stir-frying ingredients at high temperature minimises cooking time, and ingredients retain their nutrients, crunch and colour!
- Stir fry sauces, marinades and flavourings largely consist of healthy ingredients including but not limited to Soy, Oyster, Fish source and ginger, lemongrass and various spice which are all healthy for your digestive system
- Minimal oil is used resulting in lower fat content, yet still helps the body to absorb micronutrients such as lycopene and alpha- and beta-carotene.
- People who eat stir-fry’s (high in vegetables) are more likely to meet recommended intakes for vitamins C, E and folic acid.
- Stir-frying allows you to choose a broad range of ingredients (vegetables and meat) you can have a great mix of essential micronutrients.
- Stir-fry’s traditionally consist of non-starchy vegetables which are low in calorie contentment, high in fibre and contain essential vitamins and minerals
- High vegetable consumption has also been associated with lower rates of pre-menopausal bone loss in women.
Basic steps to create your perfect sit-fry:
In addition to being a simple and easy-to-prepare meal, stir-fry can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are some tips for making the perfect stir-fry:
1. Get the tools ready. Either a wok or any large shallow pan with a handle and a heat-resistant spatula for stirring.
Woks are traditionally Chinese frying pans that have sloped sides, which you can use to push ingredients from the hotter parts of the pan onto the sloped sides when they are ready.
A wok is not essential to whipping up a tasty stir-fry. You can still create a delicious meal in a frying pan just be aware to cook your meat separately from the vegetables, and then combine just before adding the sauce. By doing so, you will prevent overcooked vegetables as well as unsafe meat temperatures. In addition, the flavour of the meat will not overwhelm the veggies.
2. Prepare sauces, marinades and select your oil (ensure the oil used has a high smoke point)
Nowadays, you can find premade sauces and marinades at any grocery store and some are excellent, though some may contain high levels of sugar and sodium. For example, many brands of soy sauce have around 1000 mg of sodium per tablespoon. A healthy diet should contain 1000-1500 mg of sodium per day and not exceed 2300 mg. Instead, try making your own combination using some of the following ingredients:
Tamarri, Rice wine vinegar, Coconut aminos, Oyster, Sauce, Vegetable or Chicken stock, Lime juice, Fresh ginger, Fresh lemon grass, Fresh herbs, Sesame oil, Peanut Oil
3. Ingredients are prepared and cut according to the cooking method: protein, Vegetables, aromatics, herbs and spices
For stir-frying, choose tender, quick-frying meats, such as chicken breast, shrimp, boneless pork, or sirloin steak. Maintaining a tender and juicy dish is a key component of stir-frying. If you have difficulty cooking meats like chicken that are prone to drying out, try *velveting or soaking them in a marinating liquid for a few minutes.
*Velveting is a Chinese method of marinating that keeps delicate meat and seafood moist and tender during cooking. Simply coat strips of meat in a mixture of egg white, cornflour, sesame oil and tamari before frying (for a crispy texture) or poaching in simmering water (for a smooth velvet texture). The coating creates a protective barrier that seals in the moisture and also helps prevent the food from overcooking and becoming tough.