Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Master Stir Frying

Looking for quick meal? Go stir-fry! That’s right. Just a little hot oil or our awesome steam-frying technique lets you quickly stir up bite-sized pieces of fresh veggies, meats, seafood, soy foods, nuts and more in just a few minutes. The outcome is crisp, colorful, nutritious and really delicious. Perfect for busy home cooks!

When you stir fry at home, you control the ingredients and the “health factor” of the dish. Our marvelous steam-frying technique is a simple, effective way to “stir fry” that reduces fat and calories by incorporating water, vegetable stock or even coconut water in place of oil. It’s a healthy, fun way to cook. Check out our instructional Steam Frying Video for a demonstration.

Here are some basic stir-fry tips:

  • Prep all ingredients before heating up your pan.
  • Chop food to same size for even cooking and picture-perfect presentation.
  • Consider peanut, sesame, naturally refined coconut, or high-heat sunflower or safflower oil for best results.
  • Prepare your wok (a curved, bowl-like skillet with high sloping sides) according to manufacturer instructions.
  • No wok? No worry! Use a high-rimmed skillet.
  • Get meat, soy foods, fish or shellfish, and your veggies as dry as possible before cooking. This prevents splatter and, along with the high heat, insures the veggies stir-fry properly rather than steam.
  • Stir fry on medium-high heat unless your recipe states otherwise.
  • Always follow your recipe, but if you’re winging it, stir-fry meat first and then set aside while you stir-fry veggies so the meat won’t overcook and the end result has a “cleaner” crisp flavor.
  • Stir-fry dense carrots, onions, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans first; add leafy greens, mushrooms, green onions, celery, asparagus and other quick cooking veggies last.
  • Serve stir-fries over a bed of brown or white rice, noodles, pasta, quinoa, buckwheat, whole wheat and other cooked whole grains, or a bed of steamed spinach or cabbage.

Here’s a selection of popular stir-fry recipes:

Feel free to branch out on your own with different protein/veggie combinations. Some ideas for stir fry ingredients:

  • Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish or shellfish.
  • Tofu, tempeh, edamame or vegan meat substitutes.
  • Peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus and leafy greens like bok choy.
  • Scallion, garlic, ginger, chile peppers.
  • Tamari soy sauce and other prepared Asian cooking sauces are indispensible!
  • Almonds, cashews, pineapple chunks, Mandarin oranges and mangoes.

What are your favorite stir-fry ingredients? What tips did I miss? Let me know.