How to make a tasty stirfry

I’ve developed a basic stirfry prototype that we use regularly and have tweaked over time. It includes all four of the “hot, sour, salty, sweet” flavour bases, is super simple, and never fails to produce a tasty result.

It’s a “prototype” because you can use this recipe and include whatever combination of vegetables, meat, and carb you like, but the foundation stays the same. Here it is.


  • Static
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut (or other) oil for frying
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1″ or so of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp (or more) of hot red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (the regular stuff, lower sodium is better)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin (japanese sweetened sake)
  • Variables
  • 6-8 oz meat (enough for 2 people, trimmed and thinly sliced)
  • 4-6 c sliced/chopped vegetables
  • Some sort of rice or noodles, cooked

1. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, and mirin in a small bowl and reserve.

2. Pour oil into a wok or big saute pan and heat to medium-high. Toss in garlic, ginger, and hot pepper flakes and fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add meat to the pan and cook through, stirring frequently.

4. Once the meat is just about done, add the vegetables. If you’re using more than one type of vegetable, add them separately and in order of how long they will take to cook. Broccoli will take a minute or so more than spinach, and so forth.

5. When the vegetables are basically done (it won’t take long), pour in the soy/vinegar/mirin mixture and fry for another minute, stirring well. If you have noodles, you can dump those in now as well so they heat through and absorb some of the sauce.

6. You probably don’t want all the sauce in your bowls, so lift the food out of the wok with tongs or a slotted spoon rather than pouring it out. If you didn’t use noodles, serve over rice. And that’s it.

Flavour Combinator
Pick two or three ingredients from cols I + II, and serve with a carb from col III.

Beef Napa cabbage Ramen noodles
Chicken Bok choy Udon noodles
Pork Shiitake/Oyster mushrooms Soba noodles
Tofu Spinach Rice noodles
Shrimp Broccoli/Rapini White rice
Scallops Snow peas Brown rice
Turkey Green onions Sticky rice

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