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Guide to Chinese-Inspired Stir Fry


  • 4 cups sturdy, long cooking vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, daikon radishes, green beans, turnips, rutabagas, stems from leafy greens - bok choy, chard, kale
  • 1 cup stock, divided
  • 4 cups tender, fast cooking vegetables: bell peppers (any color), celery, snow peas, sugar snap peas, summer squash or zucchini
  • Large bunch quick cooking vegetables/leafy greens: bean sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, chard, kale
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (or more as needed)
  • Finishes: scallions, sliced on diagonal; chopped cilantro, chopped cashews or peanuts
  • Special considerations:
  • Mushrooms - saute first until they have released their liquid and it has evaporated
  • Tofu - cut into cubes and saute in oil first to create a golden crust on each surface of cube. To amp up the crust dust with corn starch prior to frying.
  • Chicken - cut into strip and saute first
  • Shrimp - add when sauce ingredients are added
  • Sauce Options:
  • Spicy Chili Garlic Sauce - 1/2 cup stock, 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce, 1 tsp cornstarch, 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce or honey, 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Oyster Sauce - 1/2 cup stock, 3 Tbsp oyster sauce, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp  toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Ginger Sauce - 1/2 cup stock, 2 Tbsp sherry, 1 Tbsp minced ginger, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cornstarch


Long cooking vegetables: peel as needed and cut into 1/2" pieces or 1/4" thick slices.

Slow cooking vegetables: clean and slice into 1/4" thick slices

Leafy greens: clean, remove stems and chop into 1" pieces, slice leaves into 1/4" wide ribbons

Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to skillet or wok over high heat. When smoking add vegetables and allow to sit undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, until browned on one side. Add 1/2 cup stock and cover wok, allow to steam for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Remove cover and allow liquid to evaporate. Remove vegetables from pan.

While vegetables are steaming mix sauce ingredients together.

Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to now empty skillet/wok and add quick cooking vegetables. Saute, stirring occasionally until brown spots begin to form. Clear area in middle of pan, add 1 tsp vegetable oil and minced garlic and grated ginger. Saute in center of pan for about 30 seconds and then mix into vegetables.

Add sauce to vegetables in pan, add longer cooking vegetables and "special considerations". Bring to boil and allow sauce to thicken and everything to heat up, 2-3 minutes. Add quick cooking vegetables/leafy greens and toss all together, 1 minute.

Serve over rice or Chinese egg noodles garnish as desired with scallions, cilantro, chopped nuts.

4 servings

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