A stir-fry is a unique dish. Even the mention of it can conjure up vastly different images depending on the person and, perhaps more importantly, their palate. There is no singular definition of what makes a stir-fry — for many, a stir-fry always involves beef and noodles, whereas some like to go the poultry route, and others yet keep things completely vegetarian. Of course, that's where the fun lies, in testing out new recipes and figuring out what makes for the perfect stir-fry in your own cookbook.
Regardless of what you specifically envision when you think of a stir-fry, there's a good chance that some sort of protein, vegetables, noodles, and an umami-rich sauce make the final cut. Ideally you're cooking your stir-fry in a wok over high heat, but we won't judge if you trust your favorite saucepan or skillet to get the job done. The beauty of a stir-fry is that it's all but guaranteed to come together easily, even if it's more of a clear-out-the-produce-drawer meal than a curated one.
In case you're looking to incorporate more stir-fry recipes into your repertoire, we've got a collection that will surely make dinnertime a little more exciting. Whether you like meaty stir-fries or you lean more toward the plant-based side, we've got options that will satisfy your taste buds and maybe help clear out your fridge all in one go.
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Roasted Butternut Squash Sichuan Stir-Fry
If butternut squash isn't the first vegetable you'd think to incorporate in a stir-fry, we wouldn't blame you. As it turns out, however, squash plays well with the savory flavors of a stir-fry, lending a subtly sweet and earthy profile to the dish.
While this certainly isn't the quickest stir-fry recipe in the books — you'll need 30 minutes just to roast the squash — we can assure you that the wait will be worth it. The squash comes together with red bell pepper, broccolini, and a peppery Sichuan sauce to create a truly special stir-fry. Be warned that this recipe isn't fully vegan because of the addition of honey in the sauce, though you could easily omit the ingredient or enjoy this as a vegetarian dish.
Chicken Almond Gai Ding
This chicken gai ding recipe incorporates some classic stir-fry staples like chicken breasts, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and almonds. Of course, just because this is a classic recipe, doesn't mean it's a boring one, and the plethora of veggies and protein ensures that you'll be nice and full once your plate is clean.
In true stir-fry fashion, you'll kick this recipe off by heating a wok over high and gradually adding in the ingredients, starting with the chicken and ending with the nuts and snow peas. A final garnish of chopped scallions is all it takes to complete this dish, though you also can't go wrong with a classic rice or noodle pairing.
Recipe: Chicken Almond Gai Ding
Soy Chicken And Broccoli
Though beef and broccoli certainly make for an iconic pairing, this recipe opts to showcase the green vegetable alongside chicken for an equally delish stir-fry. Though simple at first glance, this dish doesn't need to rely on an excess of vegetables or an ingredient-dense marinade to make the magic happen — the velvety chicken and crisp broccoli will speak for itself.
Speaking of velvety chicken, the protein gets such a delightful tenderness thanks to baking soda in the marinade. Otherwise, just soy sauce and dry sherry help amp up the flavor of the chicken, while the stir-fry itself gets all souced up in a mixture of brown sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
Recipe: Velvety Soy Chicken and Broccoli
Stir-Fried Bok Choy With Tofu Cream
Those searching for a completely vegan stir-fry recipe have met their match with this stir-fried bok choy number, which also comes with an impressive tofu cream. As it turns out, it's not too hard to turn tofu into a fluffy, creamy concoction — all you need is a food processor. Well, that and additional ingredients like tahini and sesame oil to bulk up the flavor.
As for the bok choy, we're not talking about tossing it into a skillet and calling it a day. No, this bok choy is given the true stir-fry treatment, ultimately sautéing it in a soy and Shaoxing wine-based sauce before adding a final garnish of toasted sesame seeds.
Spicy Garlic Szechuan Noodles
If a stir-fry just isn't complete to you without noodles, then this spicy garlic Szechuan noodles recipe is guaranteed to satisfy. As the name suggests, this recipe explores the spicy side of stir-fry — and not just spicy as in heat, but spiced thanks to inclusions of star anise, cloves, and cinnamon.
Unlike many stir-fry recipes, this one goes easy on the vegetables and really lets the noodles take center stage. Fear not, you'll still get a veggie serving in thanks to cabbage, carrots, and red pepper, but those will ultimately feel like an afterthought as you're slurping down those perfectly spiced Szechuan noodles.
Recipe: Spicy Garlic Szechuan Noodles
Lotus Root Stir-Fry
Lotus root is, as the name heavily implies, a type of root vegetable, though it's one that surprisingly grows completely in water. Regardless of where lotus root gets its start in this world, there's one sure-fire place that it should have an end, and that would be in your next stir-fry recipe.
Easily identifiable by its holey appearance, lotus root offers a mild flavor and delightful crunchiness that will only serve to improve your stir-fry. Other components of this dish include wood ear mushrooms, carrots, celery, and baby corn, so you'll be able to rest easy knowing that you got quite the hearty dose of vegetables in. Pair this lotus root stir-fry with a simple side of brown rice to round out your plant-heavy meal.
Recipe: Lotus Root Stir-Fry
Spicy Chinese Eggplant Stir-Fry
Tofu often gets the short end of the stick, overlooked in favor of chicken or beef, but this Chinese eggplant stir-fry recipe allows the soy-based protein a chance to shine. This recipe also happens to be vegan, so those who avoid meat and dairy will surely appreciate the spicy, savory flavors that this plant-forward dish has to offer.
You'll start by coating the tofu in soy sauce, olive oil, and some cornstarch — the latter ingredient will help the tofu crisp up nicely. After grilling the tofu on the stovetop, you'll make the stir-fry itself, sautéing a plethora of veggies including asparagus, red pepper, and of course, the Chinese eggplant. This stir-fry also offers up a healthy dose of heat thanks to the inclusion of a serrano pepper and a touch of sriracha.
Recipe: Spicy Chinese Eggplant Stir-Fry
Garlic Chicken Lo Mein
Lo mein is the go-to for many people when it comes to takeout, but what if we told you that you could make a garlic chicken lo mein at home that rivals even the best takeout spot? This recipe will walk you through the steps of making an unbeatable lo mein dish, and one that conveniently packs everything you need in a meal into one succinct dish.
We'd be remiss not to highlight the chicken in this recipe; instead of cutting it into chunks, you'll thinly slice it in a way similar to beef. The result is perfectly juicy chicken breast that cooks in record speed, and all told, the entire dish will be ready to go in around 30 minutes.
Recipe: Garlic Chicken Lo Mein
Tender Lomo Saltado
If you're a fan of Peruvian cuisine or are looking to expand your horizons, this tender lomo saltado recipe is the perfect place to start. Fans of steak will also love this unique stir-fry, with sirloin taking center stage alongside a surprising addition: french fries.
This recipe is ideal for those who have leftover fries sitting in the fridge — after all, fries are notoriously difficult to reheat, and this stir-fry will breath new life into them with ease. Along with a tangy, spicy sauce and perhaps a bed of rice for serving, this lomo saltado is a masterclass in savory goodness.
Recipe: Tender Lomo Saltado
Beef And Udon Noodle Stir-Fry
There are several types of noodles that one might incorporate into a stir-fry, but udon noodles are undeniably a top choice. The thick, dense noodles not only help soak up the garlicky, salty sauce that this beef stir-fry has to offer, but they also help bulk up the meal to make it one that will fill you right up.
Aside from the udon noodles, you'll also find tender sirloin steak, crunchy carrots, baby bok choy, and crisp baby corn in the stir-fry. You will need to have a little patience as the steak marinates for 30 minutes, but the irresistibly tender results will make it all worth your while.
Recipe: Beef and Udon Noodle Stir-Fry
Nearly any stir-fry incorporates some type of vegetable, even if it's something as simple as onion or carrots. While the idea of vegetables in a stir-fry is nothing new, the thought of an all-vegetable stir-fry is definitely an exciting one, especially for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Even meat-eaters are just about guaranteed to enjoy this veggie stir-fry, whether it's enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish.
To be more specific on the type of vegetables, this recipe incorporates mushrooms, bell pepper, carrots, and onion. These veggies get a perfect hit of spicy sweetness thanks to a sauce that consists of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, and maple syrup. If you're okay with this dish being vegetarian instead of fully vegan, you can swap out the syrup for honey in a pinch.
Recipe: Vegetable Stir-Fry
Satay-Style Chicken Stir-Fry
If you can't resist ordering chicken satay as an appetizer at a Thai restaurant, then you're in for quite the treat with this satay-style chicken stir-fry recipe. Picture all of the sweet, nutty, tangy goodness that chicken satay offers, but in a full entrée, stir-fry-curry hybrid form.
Unlike many types of stir-fry where you add just enough sauce to coat the meat and vegetable, this recipe will leave you with some leftover liquid. You can simply enjoy the dish as is, slurping up all of that peanut buttery goodness as you go, or you can pair this satay-style stir-fry with rice or noodles to help absorb all of that extra sauce.
Recipe: Satay-Style Chicken Stir-Fry
Spicy Beef Stir-Fry
There are quite a few ways you could spice up a stir-fry. For some people, the easiest method is to sprinkle in some red pepper flakes, whereas others might opt for a drizzle of sriracha on their finished dish. This spicy beef stir-fry recipe takes the fresh approach by putting red chilis to good use — though tiny, the little red peppers pack an alluringly spicy punch.
Aside from the spice, you can anticipate plenty of savory and salty flavors from this stir-fry. Thinly sliced beef, egg noodles, and a sauce that incorporates both dark and light soy sauce help round out this umami-rich dish, though there's no doubt that the spice tingling on your tongue will be the real star of the show.
Recipe: Spicy Beef Stir-Fry
Classic Pad See Ew
Pad see ew is a traditional Thai dish that often draws comparisons to another classic: pad Thai. Unlike the latter dish, pad see ew makes use of wide, flat noodles, so this is definitely the recipe for those who prefer thick noodles to stand up alongside the sauce and protein.
The protein in this case happens to be chicken, which really takes to the salty, tangy, umami flavors of the sauce quite nicely. If you aren't a fan of veggie overload in your stir-fries then you're in luck — the only vegetable you'll find here is broccolini, which provides a nice green contrast without overpowering the rest of the dish.
Recipe: Classic Pad See Ew
Beef In Black Bean Sauce
Those who have made quite a few stir-fries in their life know that the sauce tends to remain quite similar from recipe to recipe; typically, you'll find soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, and some sort of sweetener. If you're looking to switch up your stir-fry sauce, then this beef in black bean sauce recipe is the perfect solution — the beef may be nothing new, but the fermented black bean sauce adds an edge that many stir-fries are lacking.
Just a single tablespoon of fermented black beans goes a long way in adding complexity to this stir-fry. Of course, you can still expect classic flavors from the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and oyster sauce; the black beans will only help complement these ingredients in this popular Chinese dish.
Recipe: Beef in Black Bean Sauce
Vietnamese Shaking Beef
If you're wondering why this Vietnamese beef stir-fry recipe is called shaking beef, once you get to cooking the meat, something tells us you won't be too confused anymore. Quick cooking over high heat is pretty standard for stir-fries, but shaking beef calls for vigorously shaking the pan that you cook the meat in, hence the apt name.
Ribeye steak serves as the star protein of this beefy dish, and other ingredients like watercress, tomatoes, and bell pepper help round it out. This recipe also calls for Maggi seasoning, which is a good substitute for fish sauce, but you'll actually put both the seasoning and sauce to use to create an irresistible, umami-laden flavor.
Recipe: Vietnamese Shaking Beef
This portobello fajitas recipe is something of a two-for-one special. For starters, you'll make a veggie-loaded stir-fry consisting of portobello mushrooms, onion, and bell peppers. But why stop there? Once you've made your filling, take things a step further and load up a flour tortilla to create a fusion dish of stir-fry fajitas.
Perfect for busy weeknights, these portobello fajitas will be ready in less than 30 minutes. While the veg-based stir-fry would be tasty enough on its own, transforming it into a fajita really helps make this a full meal. And, a fajita would be nothing without delicious toppings, so feel free to load yours up with sliced avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, or whatever your heart desires.
Recipe: Portobello Fajitas
Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
Orange chicken is arguably one of the most beloved types of takeout, but when you order it from a Chinese restaurant, it typically comes with a side of rice and maybe broccoli, and not much more than that. If you're looking to incorporate orange chicken into a more full-fledged meal, then this stir-fry recipe is just the solution. The beloved sweet, sticky chicken comes together with mixed vegetables ─ like snow peas, carrots, and bean sprouts ─ making for something that's a little more exciting than your typical white rice pairing.
Everyone knows that the best part of orange chicken is the sauce, and this recipe proves that you don't need much to make the magic happen. Both orange juice and orange zest provide that zippy citrus flavor, whereas stir-fry staples like soy sauce and rice wine vinegar provide balance. Tossed with the crisp vegetables, this orange chicken will no doubt become a staple in your family's dinner routine.
Recipe: Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
Winter Chicken And Vegetable Stir-Fry
If you get easily overwhelmed by a lengthy ingredient list, then you'll surely appreciate this winter chicken and vegetable stir-fry recipe, which amazingly requires fewer than 10 ingredients. You'll start by cooking chicken breast in vegetable oil and soy sauce, then you'll move onto purple cabbage, carrots, and onion. Ultra-thin Chinese noodles bulk up the dish a little bit, then a drizzle of sesame oil helps provide some nutty flavor depth.
Aside from the short ingredient list, this recipe also comes together in record time. You'll need just 10 minutes to cook everything from start to finish, meaning that you can stress less over the tedious task of cooking after a long day, and get to the good part faster.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.