Of all the quick and simple meals we all learned to cook at University, there are few more flexible and delectable as the humble stir fry. All you need is a wok or selection of woks, cooking oil, some vegetables, noodles, sauce and a form of protein and that’s about it.
If you have yet to discover the simple beauty of the stir fry, here are five reasons why you should introduce it into your regular meal schedule.
Quick and simple
A stir fry is a dish with a recipe that can be explained in a single sentence: Put vegetables and noodles into an oiled wok and cook on high heat for about five minutes before adding sauce and protein (meat, mushrooms, tofu, cheese). That’s it. The immediacy of the dish is what makes it so special, and you can comfortably go from prep to dish in under 10 minutes.
Variety is the spice of life
There is no end to the variety of ways you can cook a stir fry. Indeed, there are entire restaurants and even franchises built around the dish. The only necessary ingredients are the vegetables. Everything else is fair game. Maybe you fancy replacing the noodles with rice? And what kind of vegetables do you want to use next time? Maybe bell peppers with spinach? Or perhaps mix it up with some tenderstem broccoli? The choice of sauce and protein is also always up for grabs, so it’ll never be the same meal twice if you don’t want it to be.
While you could comfortably turn your stir fry into a decadent feast, the basic meal is actually a very healthy one. If you stick to the basics of veg and protein and cut out the noodles entirely, it could even be a staple meal in a diet. It’s an easy way to integrate more vegetables into your existing diet too and offers the opportunity to experiment with new vegetables you might not have tried before.
The ideal beginner meal
When it comes to cooking practice, it doesn’t get much better than a stir fry. As we already mentioned, it’s the archetypal student dish for a good reason. You don’t need any real cooking skills to put a good stir fry together, but you’ll come away from cooking it with at least a small amount of knowledge. And you’ll be ready to venture forth into more adventurous culinary terrain.
Of course, it’s not just easy to make, healthy and varied but it tastes incredible too. Asian cuisine is known for being particularly vibrant and, with the right ingredients, a stir fry is about as fragrant and fresh as it gets!