Asian Stir-Fry

Patty Morrissey, previous TCL cooking contest winner, stopped by the TCL kitchen to show us how to make a delicious yet easy Asian Stir-Fry. Try it at home with this recipe.

General Guidelines:

  • Do all prep first when you make stir-fry because once you start cooking, you don’t leave the stove for more than a minute at a time. Most veggies can be cut up in the morning or even the night before to spread out the prep. Sauces and rice can also be made ahead of time.
  • Don’t overcook the veggies – a little crunch is delicious; too far and things can get soggy.
  • Cook in batches – meat and veggies need to cook separately to not over cook either one.


Fresh Veggies – 6 cups, chopped 1-2 inch size

Use a variety of veggies. Favorites are onion, bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, bok choy, celery, carrots, snow pea pods, mushrooms, asparagus, peas removed from pods, edamame, Chinese cabbage, bean sprouts. If you like the firmer veggies in a stir-fry (large squash, beets, potatoes – I’d recommend you cook them a bit in advance to soften).

Protein- 1 pound cut in 2-inch chunks

Chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or something else you like (no need to cut shrimp but do de-tail).

Marinade – 2 T soy sauce, 2 T sherry

Marinade – Marinate protein a few minutes while prepping and assembling.

Aromatics: Garlic, Ginger, Red Chili Pepper, Lemon – 1 T freshly grated or chopped garlic and ginger. Slice tiny slivers of red chili pepper based on your heat tolerance. 1 lemon for squeezing over the top.

Nuts- ½ cup pine nuts or boiled peanuts (salt free, shelled peanuts). Optional but add a nice flavor and crunch.

Oil– 2-3 Tbs. I like peanut oil for Asian cooking but olive oil; grape seed, canola, vegetable and sesame oil will all work.

Sauce – ½ cup chicken broth, ½ cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. fish sauce (some may be tempted to skip fish sauce – I recommend you don’t!!)

Herbs – 1-cup rough-chopped cilantro or Thai basil.

Thickening – 1 T cornstarch mixed in 1 T water or chicken broth

Rice – Serve dish with 6 cups cooked Jasmine or Basmati Rice

Steps –(assuming all is prepped and protein has marinated a bit):

  1. Heat 1 T oil on high heat in large pan – does not have to be a wok. When oil is hot, add protein. Reserve the marinade for adding back in later.
  2. Stir-fry on high, turning often to cook for just a few minutes. Chicken does not have to get brown to be done, as some of the liquid will prevent a brown appearance. Don’t overcook, as it will cook more at a later stage. Remove protein and juices from pan. (If using cooked shrimp, skip this all together and just add shrimp to veggies.)
  3. Add more oil to pan and get it hot. Add onions and sauté about 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, stirring. Add nuts and stir. Add rest of veggies, densest ones first, delicate or small ones later. Keep stir-frying. This step should take about 5 minutes total.
  4. Add herbs and sauce, add protein and reserved marinade back in, stir, cover pan. Check it in 2 minutes. If starting to steam and sauce is boiling, add thickening gradually until desired thickness, stirring constantly.
  5. Add more fresh cilantro or Thai basil over top. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon over all and serve over rice.

Serves 4

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