Want to cook stir-fry like the kind you get at a typical Chinese restaurant? You can. Just a few things to keep in mind before you start.
1. Get a wok. Now not just any wok will do. You can spend a lot of money on one, get a cast-iron or non-stick… but none of those are needed. The cast-iron ones are too heavy to handle once they’re hot and the non-stick ones will never get hot enough to actually sear the food. You want a carbon steel wok. You can find one online or in a store for as little as $14.99 and it will do the job! Just read the instructions first. You’ll spend about an hour after you first get your wok to season it with heat and oil. Then you’re set.
2. Clean your wok with oil and salt. Pour about a tablespoon of canola oil in the wok and sprinkle in some kosher salt. It will resemble a paste. Then scrub it with a paper towel. Don’t ever use soap to clean it. Rub out the salt but leave some of the oil, which helps it develop a great coating.
3. Let the wok heat up well before cooking. Add some oil. [good fat is not bad]
4. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Put too much meat or vegetables in the pan at once and you will steam them instead of searing them.
Here’s a couple of bonus tips: I always prefer using fresh veggies to stir-fry. Frozen will work, but it helps to steam them first before putting in the wok. Don’t be afraid to pick up a bottle of pre-made stir-fry sauce from the grocery store. They really work and taste pretty good. Once you get the hang of the cooking part, then experiment with different sauce recipes.