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|Tips for Successful stir-Fry Cooking:|
~ Put the ingredients on a tray in the order in which you will add them to the wok.
~ Choose a flat-bottom steel wok with a wooden handle to avoid the metal ring necessary under a round-bottom wok. (This ring raises the wok from the heat and lessens the heat that reaches it.) If you don't have a wok, a cast-iron skillet, although harder to lift because of its weight, works well.
~ Use the highest possible heat. The success of stir-fry dishes depends on the intensity of the heat.
~ Have someone read the recipe to you as you stir-fry.
~ Heat the wok for 1 minute or more (times are usually specified in the recipes) before you add the oil. Then heat the oil for 1 minute before adding the food. This keeps the food from sticking to the wok.
For most dishes the oil should be hot but not smoking.
~ Peanut oil is preferred for stir-frying, as it can be heated to a higher temperature without smoking or burning.
~ Set a steady rhythm when you stir-fry; one-two, one-two, one-two, always reaches the bottom of the center of the wok with your metal spatula so the food cooks evenly.
~ Stir any seasoning sauces and binders just before adding them to the wok. When adding the binder to a sauce that has few solids, pour it in a steady stream into one spot. Using a wire whisk, briskly whisk that spot for 10 seconds; then using a figure-eight motion, incorporate the binder into the entire sauce. When adding the binder to a sauce with many ingredients, pour it over the top and toss as you would a salad until the sauce thickens. This takes about 30 seconds. Be sure to reach the food at the bottom in the center of the wok.
~ Serve the finished dish immediately. Never reheat stir-fried food.
The Occasional Vegetarian by Karen Lee ISBN 0-446-51792-5 pg 227 Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 10-05-95