Find a proper pan (nonsticks can't handle the high heat), fire up your hottest burner, and get wokking!
Recipes by Charlotte Autry
January 16, 2013
1 of 4Photo: Johnny Autry
Steps to Stir-Fry Success
This fast, easy, and healthy way to cook involves just two commitments to ensure that your food has wok hay, the hard-to-describe but delicious seared, slightly smoky taste that you've enjoyed in any good Chinese restaurant. First: a wok that's cast iron, stainless steel, or rolled carbon steel. Second: a willingness to get that pan really hot. With those two things in place, you can swirl the ingredients briefly, which preserves crunch and heightens natural flavors as the wok hay develops. These three steps are key for stir-fry success.
2 of 4Photo: Johnny Autry
Heat Until Very Hot
Heat a wok over high heat for several minutes. Add oil, preferably canola, peanut, or another oil with a high smoke point.
3 of 4Photo: Johnny Autry
Add ingredients in stages so each sizzles and "fries." An overcrowded wok will steam the food. In this recipe, the tofu is prefried for maximum flavor.
4 of 4Photo: Johnny Autry
Sauce It Up
Make your sauce, and add it to all the ingredients in the wok. This is the finishing touch to most stir-fries—one last toss to complete the dish.