Asian stir-fry is a fast, simple meal that lets you express your creativity. As long as you
follow a few basic steps.
The key to a successful stir-fry is mise en place, a French phrase that, in this case, translates
to arranging all your ingredients and implements in the order you’ll be using them before
you start. Cut the beef, chicken, or fish in small uniform strips or cubes and then marinate.
Slice, dice, or julienne your vegetables, and chop the herbs—keeping in mind that everything
in the wok should be about the same size and shape, and that smaller items cook faster.
And line up the pots, pans, plates, and utensils.
Pre-heat the wok and then cover the bottom with a small amount of cooking oil. When
the wok and oil are smoking hot, cook the ingredients in batches—too much at a time
lowers the temperature and dampens the flavor. And keep things constantly moving
so they don’t burn (its mini-shovel shape makes the Chinese spatula perfect for scooping
the food, making cooking quick and easy). Create just the right seared, smoky taste
and you’ve achieved wok hei, the “breath of a wok.” Add the sauce ingredients and stir
until it thickens. Then serve your stir-fry while piping hot—140 to 160 degrees.
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