How to Make the Best Vegetable Stir-Fry

Original story by CHOW Food Team, updated by Sarah Spigelman Richter

Stir-fries have come a long way from the brown-sauced, crunchy cauliflower and rubbery chicken concoctions of years past. With a few simple techniques and fresh ingredients, you can put your CSA box to good use, your vegan friends can come to dinner, and you can throw together a homemade meal in less time than it takes to rifle through your drawer filled with takeout menus. As a bonus, there's no tastier way to get swimsuit ready for summer!

●    Vegetable peeler

●    Knife

●    Large frying pan or wok

●    Wooden spoon

●    Three garlic cloves

●    Knob of fresh ginger

●    Half pound of vegetables (go for a good combo of colors and textures, e.g., mushrooms, snap peas, and peppers) (or whatever looks great at your farmer's market–fresher is better!)

●    Vegetable oil

●    Salt

●    Sherry or white wine soy sauce (or tamari to make it gluten free)

1. Peel the garlic and ginger, and chop finely.

2. Chop the other vegetables into pieces roughly the same size. The smaller they are, the faster they will cook. Also take the veggies into account–carrots need to be smaller to cook through in the same amount of time as asparagus.

3. Heat the frying pan over high heat, coat the bottom with vegetable oil, and heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add the ginger and garlic and stir.

4. Add the denser vegetables,for example, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or eggplant. Season with salt and stir.

5. When the garlic turns golden brown, add the rest of your vegetables. Be careful not to let the garlic get too dark. Season with more salt. Do not cover the pan. Stir every couple of minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Turn off the heat.

6. Add a few spoonfuls each of sherry or white wine and soy sauce. Stir.

7. Serve over steamed white or brown rice. Get our Basic White Rice recipe and Basic Brown Rice recipe.

Photos by Chris Rochelle/CHOW