$9.06 RECIPE / $2.27 SERVING
A simple vegetable stir fry is the perfect example of a “catch-all” recipe.
A quick and easy vegetable stir fry is an excellent solution for dinner, whether you’re using leftover vegetables from your freezer or a bag of frozen stir fry veggies.
In addition to the extremely basic version below, I have plenty of suggestions for add-ins and taste variations if you want to spice things up!
WHAT ARE THE BEST VEGETABLES FOR STIR-FRYING?
When making a vegetable stir fry, it’s crucial to use a range of colors and textures. To add diversity, I used onions, mushrooms, red bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots, but here are some more vegetables that work well in stir-fries:
- Green beans
- Baby corn
- Water Chestnuts
- Bean sprouts
- Green onion
- Sweet peas
ADDITIONS TO A STIR FRY
You can use a variety of other ingredients in addition to vegetables, such as
- Chicken, beef, or pork
- Scrambled egg
- Peanuts or cashews
PERSONALIZE THE SAUCE
I’ve included a basic brown stir fry sauce below, but there are so many ways to tailor the sauce to your preferences. Here are several possibilities:
- Spice it up: sriracha, chili garlic sauce, or gochujang, a tablespoon or so
- Add a couple of teaspoons of oyster sauce to make it extra rich.
- Add a couple of teaspoons of hoisin sauce to make it sweet and tart.
- Use pineapple juice instead of water for a tropical twist (add a little less brown sugar)
THE KEY TO A GOOD HOME STIR FRY
There are two key points to remember when creating stir fry at home:
- Heat in a large wok or skillet over high heat. If your skillet is too tiny, the steam will not be able to dissipate and the vegetables will become soupy. Similarly, if the heat is not high enough, the steam will not evaporate quickly enough, resulting in soupy veggies.
- Make sure the vegetables aren’t overcooked. The vegetables should be soft, crisp, and brightly colored. You can always simmer them a little longer after adding the sauce, but if you cook them too long in the first steps, you’ll end up with limp veggies that are a dull color.
EASY VEGETABLE STIR FRY
STIR FRY SAUCE
- 1/4 cup soy sauce ($0.24)
- 1/4 cup water ($0.00)
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar ($0.08)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil ($0.10)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch ($0.03)
- 3/4 lb. broccoli ($1.34)
- 2 carrots ($0.33)
- 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.69)
- 8 oz. sugar snap peas ($2.99)
- 1 small onion ($0.28)
- 1 red bell pepper ($1.50)
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil ($0.16)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds ($0.06)
- First, make the stir fry sauce. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. Set aside the sauce.
- Cut the vegetables into pieces of comparable size. Whether you slice, dice, or cut into any other shape is entirely up to you.
- In a very large skillet or wok, pour the cooking oil. Warm over medium-high heat. Add the hardest veggies first: carrots and broccoli, when the pan and oil are very hot (but not blazing). Cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute, or until the broccoli turns a brilliant green.
- Add the mushrooms and sugar snap peas after that. Continue to simmer and stir for another minute or two, or until the mushrooms soften.
- Add the softest veggies last, such as bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring constantly until the onion begins to soften.
- After another quick toss, pour the stir fry sauce over the vegetables. Heat and stir until the sauce thickens and turns glossy, then continue to cook and stir until it begins to simmer. Remove the vegetables from the fire or cook them until they are done to your liking.
- Serve the stir-fry with sesame seeds on top.
*You can use any combination of vegetables you choose. Once chopped, you’ll need roughly 8 cups.
- Serving: 1.5 cups
- Calories: 209 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Fat: 9 g
- Sodium: 869 mg
- Fiber: 6 g
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR VEGETABLE STIR FRY
- Make the stir fry sauce beforehand so that the flavors may mingle and the sauce is ready when you need it. You must be prepared because vegetable stir fry is a quick process! In a mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Set aside after whisking until mixed.
- I used 1 tiny yellow onion, 1/2 pound broccoli, 2 carrots, 8-ounce mushrooms, and 8-ounce sugar snap peas in my stir fry mix. You can use any combination of vegetables you choose, but make sure there is a nice diversity of colors and textures. Once chopped, you’ll need around 8 cups.
- Cut the vegetables into small pieces. Because carrots take so long to soften, it was fine to chop them much smaller.
- In a very big skillet or wok, add 2 tablespoons frying oil. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until it is extremely hot. When the pan is hot, add the toughest veggies first (or the ones that take the longest to soften), in this case, carrots and broccoli. Stir quickly for about one minute, or until the broccoli turns a bright green hue. As you add more vegetables, they will continue to cook.
- Next, add the vegetables that soften fast, such as mushrooms and sugar snap peas in this case. Stir quickly once more, and simmer for about 1-2 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften. As you add more vegetables, they will continue to cook.
- Finally, add your softest vegetables, such as onion and bell pepper in this example. Stir and heat for another minute, or until the onions start to soften. After you add the sauce, they will continue to simmer and soften.
- Recombine the stir fry sauce with a short swirl, then pour it over the veggies in the skillet. Stir and boil until the sauce begins to thicken and turn glossy about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat or continue to cook the vegetables until they are done to your preference.
Enjoy the sesame seeds on top of the stir fry!