Weeknight Cooking

For the Speediest Meal, Give Stir-Fry A Try

January 15, 2018

If you’re looking for a dinner that comes together in just minutes, pull out your wok. With just a little bit of oil and extremely high heat, a wok transforms all sorts of vegetables and proteins into versatile, creative stir-fried mains. Chinese cooks have used the quick-cooking technique for hundreds—if not thousands—of years, and the method can be applied to a myriad of ingredients, from spicy squash to crispy squid to your sad leftovers.

However, in order to achieve stir-fry success, you need to keep a few things in mind. First, heat the pan over high heat until a drop of water vaporizes within a second of contact. This keeps food from sticking. Second, avoid crowding the pan, or you’ll end up with a soggy braise instead of a crunchy sear. Finally, prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time. Stir-frying demands full attention, so no last-minute slicing.

Now that you know the basics, go ahead and heat up your wok—we’ve got 11 stir-fried dinners ready for your weeknight needs.

Don't have a wok? Check these out:

What's your favorite fast meal? Any stir-fried combinations you'd like to share?

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.