Looking for a quick, healthy recipe you can make with …pretty much whatever’s in your fridge? Then stir-fry is the meal for you! Every stir-fry recipe starts with a basic formula: veggies + protein + sauce + a base. From that simple formula, you can make virtually a brand-new stir-fry, every time.
Easy Stir-Fry Recipe
This is one of our favorite recipes sent in by Jackie Hannahs of Cedar Springs, Michigan. Her family loves the citrus glaze that coats the tender pork and vegetables. Later, we’ll share ideas for making a stir-fry your own, including ideas for variations.
Taste of Home
For the stir-fry sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
For the dish
- 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon canola oil (or other flavorless oil that can handle high heat, like peanut)
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1/4 pound fresh snow peas
- 1/2 sweet red pepper, julienned
- Hot cooked rice
- Optional: Chopped green onion and sesame seeds
Step 1: Make the stir-fry sauce
Your sauce melds together all the different flavors and textures of the protein and vegetables in the stir-fry. For this recipe, the sauce is sweet and tangy.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic and ginger until smooth; set aside.
Step 2: Sear the meat
The meat or protein cooks first, seasoning the fat in the skillet. In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry pork in oil until lightly browned, 5 minutes; drain.
Step 3: Toss in the vegetables
Whatever veggies you’re using go in next. Whatever you’re using, make sure to cut everything to the same size.
Here, add the onion, peas and red pepper; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes.
Step 4: Add the sauce
Cooking the sauce for a few minutes allows it to thicken up. Stir orange juice mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Here’s the difference between tamari and soy sauce.
Step 5: Serve with a carb of your choice
Stir-fries are so full of flavor, they’re usually served on top of a plain base, which absorbs flavor from the sauce. We like to serve this with rice, rice noodles, zoodles or steamed vegetables.
Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.
Is Stir-Fry Healthy?
In general, stir-fry is healthy, since the speedy, high heat cooking doesn’t require much oil or fat. Plus, most stir-fries rely on lean meat or proteins, like chicken, tofu or lean steak. To make it even healthier, use a whole grain or vegetable base rather than white rice.
Nutrition Facts: In one serving: 228 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 508mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 25g protein.
How Make This Stir-Fry Your Own
Choose a Mix of Ingredients
Sauce and Aromatics: Ginger, garlic and onion are classics with stir-fry.
Protein: If using meat or poultry, choose a lean cut. Think chicken breast, pork tenderloin or strip steak. Tofu is a delicious vegetarian option. Fish, like shrimp are tasty.
Vegetables: Just about any vegetable is good in a stir-fry. Generally, we like to choose a mix of colors and textures. The trick? Cut everything up to the same size, which makes it cook evenly. Think snow peas, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, carrots and even tomatoes. You can always use a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables.
Grain or Other Base: Rice, brown or white, is a classic base. (Here’s how to cook rice.) Noodles, from glass noodles to ramen, are good. You can also try a carb-free option, like steamed edamame, cauliflower or zoodles.
Try Variations on the Basic Recipe
- Try chicken stir-fry with teriyaki sauce, a take-out classic
- Toss in cashews along with vegetables for a speedy vegetarian option
- Make a pescatarian stir-fry with shrimp and a dash of lime