Hot answers tagged

19

Lining with foil works well with cooking methods like baking or broiling, where the food is not stirred or manipulated much, and so the foil can sit undisturbed. With stir frying, you are quite likely to break through the foil while doing the stirring, and have to clean up fully in any case. Also, you probably would not get as good a stir fry due the thin ...


18

Quinoa. I only recently discovered it as part of doing P90X, and man, it's so, so delicious. It's kind of a nutty flavour that goes really well with sauces. It's also pretty high in protein, which is good. Note that this isn't "no-carb", though it is lower in carbs than rice. It's important that you wash quinoa before you prepare it. Otherwise, it's ...


18

Really, this is just to even out cooking times for vegetables that don't have a surface area to volume ratio consistent with the other things you're stir-frying. If you were to shred those green beans, as is sometimes done, you could put them in at the same time as raw, julienned carrots, and they would finish at the same time. If you put them in whole, ...


17

Cauliflower rice works. There are lots of variations, but basically you grate cauliflower and boil it in lightly salted water for 1-2 minutes. Add some butter. Mine looks something like this: Cauliflower rice with chicken


16

If the recipes were truly interesting in 'releasing the flavors', they'd be sweating the onions, not sauteing them. Sauté is a higher-heat method that will cook the vegetables to create other chemical compounds, thus changing their flavor. In the case of garlic and onions, this cooking makes them dramatically sweeter. But sometimes you don't want that -- ...


15

I always go in this order: Garlic/ginger/chili/spring onion whites This is to infuse the cooking oil with these flavours. Cook for short amount of time ~30secs. onions/peppers/carrots/harder veg These need a little more cooking that the other bits, so I give them a bit longer. mushrooms/sugar snaps/soft veg These need less cooking, so bit less ...


14

The boiling point of most cooking oils is much higher than their smoke points. The boiling point of olive oil, for example, is around 300°C (572°F), which is hotter than the temperature of a pan on a typical residential range/cooktop. With that said, alcohols and esters which make up the flavor and fragrance of the oil will have lower boiling points and ...


13

Fire is typically a poor heat source for direct cooking. It fluctuates with every breeze so the heating is very erratic. It also produces a lot of soot which tastes terrible and is bad for you. When cooking on a campfire much better results are had by cooking next to the coals than above the flame. Cooking with a gas flame is more reliable of course. A ...


12

I actually recommend whole grain rice as a substitute for white rice. First, a stir-fry is just weird without rice. Second, whole grain rice tastes and acts almost exactly the same. However, the carb/fibre ratio is adjusted quite well in your favour, and you get all that nice vitamin B-1 as well. I dare say, rice is never the enemy in a diet. How many fat ...


11

A few tips: Marinate the meat first (after chopping, before stir-frying); Mix the sauce first - don't just dump the ingredients separately into the wok; Add corn starch or tapioca flour to the sauce to thicken it. I wouldn't even call it a sauce without any thickening agent. About 1 tbsp per cup of sauce should be alright. (Note: The sauce should be ...


11

You have a few options, as you're dealing with high-heat cooking Only fry the garlic for a few seconds before adding something else to cool down the pan. You don't want it to cook 'til it shows color ... just a few seconds then toss in some onion or other high-moisture items. Add the garlic with something else (eg, ginger), to keep it from burning quite ...


10

Um ... just off the top of my head, important things when cooking with a wok: Make sure all of your items to cook are ready before the first thing goes to the heat; it's quick cooking, and you don't want to be trying to chop something while you're trying to stir things at the same time. You want to cook over high heat. The oil should be just about to ...


10

There are a couple of reasons, traditional and some functional: The home cultures where these recipes are indigenous use a wok, so many recipe authors go the same way Woks are usually made out of carbon steel, and are poor conductors of heat. This means that the strongest heat from the concentrated heat source is in the center/bottom of the wok. As you ...


10

I have never tried it but when I googled wok burners (thinking to find a standalone high-output gas hob), I found this article about a wok ring called the "WokMon" on Serious Eats and had to post it here: A couple months ago I was approached by Glen Lee, an inventor who claimed to have an ingenious new device for cooking in a wok at home. Seemed to me ...


9

All the advice above is good, but let me add one more thing to consider: if you don't have a wok burner with the power of a fighter jet, you might want to not cook everything together at all. It often is best to cook one or two ingredients at a time, in a thin layer over the highest possible heat, until they are 20 seconds short of done, and then remove them ...


8

I'm a convenience stir-fryer and won't bother with parboiling. Instead, just use the staggered ingredient method. Green beans do take longer than ingredients like, say, shrimp. So line up all of your ingredients in order of cooking time and stir-fry accordingly. It takes some experience, but onions/garlic then dense starches (potato) then fibrous ...


8

I make stir fry all the time and do the same thing as you. I would make extra, enough for 2 - 3 meals. The thing I do to prevent the vegetables from getting too mushy in the refrigerator is by cooking the stirfry about 75%(I make sure if I am doing this that the meat is fully cooked first) and then take out the portion that I intend to refrigerate. This ...


8

Meat in stir-fries is often velveted. That makes for a supremely soft chunk of meat, and it can be done with any type of meat. This answer actually addresses chicken: How to cook extremely soft chicken?, but it applies just as well to beef. It's usually done with egg and cornstarch, but sometimes it's done with a small amount baking soda instead, as in this ...


7

I've added some baking soda (specifically to onions while making French Onion Soup) to accelerate the Maillard reaction in the past and it seems to work rather well. A few more general steps can be taken to encourage this reaction: add protein (egg, milk), reducing sugar (glucose, fructose or lactose), remove water, increase temperature/pH I read ...


7

A general rule is put harder ingredients in first as they tend to require more cooking. Things you can eat raw can go in very late as the crispness can add to the meal. So from your list, something like this: Onion For a little while Jalapenos (if not pickled) Mushroom Bell peppers Sugar-snaps bean-sprouts It mostly comes down to personal preference. ...


6

Whilst sometimes you need to do this to cook vegetables which are 'thick' or require a fair bit of cooking to make them edible (beans if they are whole, broccoli unless it is broken up very small), what I prefer to do is to stir fry these bits together (along with some garlic/ginger/chili if i'm using it) at the start and when they have taken on a little ...


6

You want to use an oil that will handle the hotter temperatures of a wok. This list of oil smoke points suggests that most refined oils will work fine. Don't use unrefined oils or butter because they'll burn. Once you've got an oil that will handle the heat, you want something that will taste good. I think that's the main issue with olive oil. There aren't ...


6

You will have the best results if you prep by cutting and blanching prior to freezing. This should ensure that moisture content in the veggies does less damage over time in the freezer and improve color duration. I find it helpful to freeze vegetables separately rather than as mixes as you can always grab from multiple bags, but you can't unmix mixed ...


6

When any meat is sliced thinly you know it is done when it is seared on the outside, that's really it. The 6 minutes in the recipe sounds like too long to me depending on how thinly you've sliced your lamb, I'd halve the time myself. 30 seconds with the lamb, then add the garlic, stir fry for 1 minute and thirty seconds, then add the herbs until wilted, then ...


6

That is really a matter of choice. If you cook the veggies for a while, they will also release their aromatics.... but they taste different. Especially if using onions. and especially if you sautee long enough to brown. Not browning bones and veggies gives a light boullion, browning them a brown bouillon. To give you an example: Marcella Hazan gives in her ...


5

You need an oil with a high smoke point, because the wok will be on high heat. The most commonly-used is probably peanut oil. Grape seed oil, canola oil, corn oil, and also sunflower oil are also common. Olive oil is actually fine to use too, just not the "virgin" types which have significantly lower smoke points. But I still wouldn't use it because it ...


5

The general rule is to put in aromatics first--stuff that contributes good smells. Traditionally that includes garlic, onions, dried spices, and celery. In oil,of course. Then the hard to soft rule applies. The general idea is to have all of the food 'ready' at the same time, despite differences in cooking time. So you give the harder items, i.e. ...


5

There is absolutely a better way than just adding everything together. But it depends, in part, upon your tastes. I like my mushrooms very well done, so I will toss the mushrooms and onions in together first. Sugar snaps, bell peppers and bean sprouts I like nice and crisp, so I'll toss them in last just to heat them up. For just a minute or so. The ...


5

Stainless steel woks burn and stick very easily and are expensive and can't really be seasoned however they last forever. They are only used for foods that would attack a normal carbon steel wok and give the food a metallic taste, e.g. acidic foods. Carbon steel woks are used by Chinese chefs and after proper seasoning they are like non stick but able to ...



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