5 Easy Stir-Fry Recipes You Have to Try

Korean Spicy Stir-Fried SquidKorean Spicy Stir-Fried SquidStir-fry is the savior of the busy weeknight cook. Once all of the meat and vegetables are chopped and the sauce is mixed together, it takes just minutes to cook everything and get dinner on the table. And it's an attractive and far tastier option than popping a frozen pizza into the oven - it takes less time, and results in a healthier and balanced meal, with fresh vegetables, lean protein, and carbohydrates. So why not give it a try?

Before you stir-fry: It's generally a good idea to start a pot of rice or the rice cooker first thing. That way, by the time the stir-fry is done, the rice will be done, too.

Then, prep all of your ingredients. Things happen fast while stir-frying; this isn't the time to be chopping vegetables while meat is cooking on the stove.

Why you should stir-fry: Keeping a carbon steel wok seasoned requires regular use. Otherwise, the wok will lose its patina, the natural nonstick coating that forms over time on the cooking surface. Click here to see How to Season a Wok.

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How you should stir-fry: Don't use too much oil. Just one to two tablespoons will do, and make sure it's one with a high smoke point, such as canola, corn, or vegetable oil. Use a wok, and make sure to get it very hot before adding the oil. Then, give the oil a minute to heat up as well. It should slide around the pan loosely, but not smoke.

Keep stir-fry healthy: If a recipe calls for soy sauce, use low sodium, and go easy on other salt-heavy items like hoisin, mushroom sauce, and fish sauce. A little goes a long way with each of these items.

And, choose brown rice over white rice. It may take some getting used to, but the health benefits of extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber are worth it.

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Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Squid (Pictured Above)

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Shiitake Mushroom Stir-Fry

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Mongolian Beef

Mongolian beef is one of my favorite things to order when I'm tempted to spend the night in, cozy up in front of the TV… and just eat out of a box. A Chinese takeout box, that is.


3/4 pound top sirloin
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon julienned ginger
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
1 cup mixed green and yellow wax beans, trimmed and sliced on a bias into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 Thai bird's-eye chiles, minced
1 bunch scallions, trimmed, green and white parts sliced thinly on a bias
5 tablespoons soy sauce mixed with
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch


Freeze the beef for about 15-30 minutes. This will make it easier to slice. Slice thinly against the grain.

Heat a wok or 10-inch skillet over high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the oil and continue to heat until nearly smoking. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring continuously so that the garlic does not burn, for 10 seconds. Add the beef and cook until nearly done but some red remains, about 45 seconds. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the green beans, yellow wax beans, tomatoes, chiles, and scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, water, and cornstarch together in a bowl, making sure to dissolve all lumps.

Push the vegetables to the sides and form a well in the center. Pour the slurry into the well and let come to a boil just briefly. Mix well, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the beans are crisp tender, about 1 minute. Remove the lid, add the beef, and stir to heat through and combine flavors, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.


Servings: 4
Total time: 45 minutes
Cuisine: Chinese
Special Designations: Dairy-free, Kid-friendly

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-Will Budiaman, The Daily Meal