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Chop Chop

written by Yoga David 11th February 2015

Chop Chop

If you are into quick and dirty no prep time cooking, then stir fry Sunday might not be for you.

Sure stir-frying itself is quick and straightforward—cut up/toss up /fry up, but getting to the stage where you can start stir frying demands technique and proper prep.

It’s not so much about ingredients since you can toss in pretty much any combination of vegetables and meat you have lying around for this mosaic dish. Nor is it about utensils since you don’t need a proper wok to get your stir fry stir fried. It is about having dexterity with your knife though. For a perfect tasting and good looking stir fry, you need to get regular bite size pieces.

Uniformity is key. If your peppers are unevenly cut then they will cook unevenly which will result in some pieces being perfectly crunchy while others will be soggy. Try your hand at chopping onions; that way you can practice your skills before moving onto the more fiddly stuff.
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Timing and attention are also key because the stir fry cooking oil has to be high and the cooking time is short. Remember to have all of your ingredients at your fingertips. You are going to have to stand in front of your stove and – unless you are a professional multitasker, not go on a WhatsApp break. Arrange each ingredient in a different bowl in the order in which they need to be cooked; not only will you need to similar size pieces, you’ll also have to know in which order to fry them. Hard veggies like carrots should go in first, soft ones likes spring onions last. If you are using meat, then cook that first and reserve until after the vegetables are cooked.

Happy chopping! Ingredients to have on hand for happy Chinese cooking: Chilli, garlic, ginger, peanuts or sesame paste, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil if you like stronger flavours.

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