Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Secret To Stir Fry - HELP!

Dinner started off innocently enough.

"Do you want a Teriyaki Stir Fry?" I asked my husband.

"Yeah, that sounds really good," he replied.  "Do you need any help?"
"Nah, I think I'll be fine.  I'll call you when it's ready."
(Bruce exits stage left)

(I'm sorry apparently this post has turned into bad dinner theater)

I busy myself in the kitchen, boiling about one pound of chicken, measuring four cups of frozen veggies and preparing one cup (uncooked) rice.  I throw it all in my wok with a little bit of water for the veggies to steam in and then toss everything in about five tablespoons of teriyaki sauce (one tablespoon at a time).  Sounds good, right?


Oh myyyyyyy.  There was literally a quarter-inch of black char across the bottom when it was all said and done.  Lucky for me, I have an incredible ability to get nail polish out of carpet and burnt food off of stainless steel.  So there was no permanent damage.

But MY GOD it was just stir fry!  I wasn't trying to tear down any culinary walls!  What in the world did I do wrong?

I read somewhere that the secret to good stir fry is to cook everything fast and on high but I'm starting to doubt that method.  Curse the internet and its stir fry nonsense!

"Dinner's ready!  And I'm sorry ..." I kind of trailed off.
"For what?  Ohhhh.  What happened?!?!?!"

Luckily, Bruce didn't marry me for my cooking abilities.

Please tell me that someone who reads my blog (have I mentioned lately that I love you guys for putting up with my ramblings?) has tips on how to make good stir fry.  I need them.

Lots of them.

A Perplexed Wanna-Be-Chef-Turned-Bad-Dinner-Theater-Playwright


  1. i cook stirfry all the time, but i don't use a wok..i just use a non-stick pan and crank up the just fine! but now that i see your picture, i do remember my mom's wok always looking like that! i don't know why it happens...maybe it's because of what the wok is made of...

  2. i love making stir fry. It's the one thing i can do where i just throw stuff in. That is where i blogged it & how i do it. But when i blogged that, i didn't have my wok yet. I use my wok all the time now & i just LOVE it.

    But i've never had that happen w/ the char!!!? I'm not sure why that happened. :( Maybe it's the brand?

  3. My mother says: "Two things. First, did you use any oil? You need a little bit to keep things from sticking. Chicken has little fat... not like cooking bacon. In which case, the oil is provided... by the piggy. (PS. That was me... not mom... the pig part.). Second, teryaki sauce has lots of sugar, which makes it tasty, but also is prone to burning. Instead of adding it as you cook, use it just before you're done to flavor. Then it won't have the chance to burn." Kari says to marinade the chicken first. But to do that, you cant boil the chicken first. But mom promises in a wok it'll cook through easily. I'll send an excellent recipe your way!

  4. I think Kari pretty much said it all. I once did something very similar with tofu and teriyaki sauce. I thought it was going to taste so good, but it ended up just tasting BURNT! I ate it anyway.


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