By Sheena Rawcliffe
THE IMPORTANT thing for the success of stir frying is to ensure that your wok (ideally) or large frying pan is very hot, the vegetables are dry, of a similar size and density and the heat under the pan is maintained at all times.
A great variety of vegetables are suited to stir frying, although I would recommend that you do not try potatoes, parsnips or other woody vegetables until you are expert with other easier vegetables.
Once your wok is very hot, add a teaspoon of oil and immediately add the prepared vegetables, with the ones that will take the longest to cook first (broccoli and cauliflower for instance). Keep the contents of the pan moving as pockets of vegetables can result in steam, which means you are not stir frying effectively. Next, add onions, peppers and sweetcorn kernels or baby sweetcorn. And finally, put mushrooms and beansprouts and heat through for just a few moments. The resultant vegetables should be alive with colour and slightly crunchy to the palate.
If required to finish the vegetables, add a teaspoon of sesame oil (never cook the vegetables in this as it has a tendency to burn at even a low temperature, leaving a very nasty taste) and/or a couple of tablespoons of toasted pine nuts.
Healthy, delicious and fit for a dinner party or a simple supper for two.