Stir Fry: Express Yourself Through Cooking

Origin

The origin of stir fry dates back to the mid-1900’s. This Chinese originated cooking technique is defined as stirring chopped food in a lightly oiled wok or frying pan over high heat. Rumor has it, stir frying was introduced under the premise of conserving the limited quantity of available fuel.  Traditionally, a stir fry dish is comprised of meat and vegetables and served over rice. However, gaining popularity is using marinaded tofu rather than meat as a vegan-friendly alternative.

Being that the definition of a stir fry is rather vague, stir fries present themselves as an easily customizable dish.

 

Find The Chef Within You

The vast majority of vegans are well acquainted with tofu and know that tofu will take on the flavor of what is cooked in or mixed with. It is of utmost importance that tofu is paired with flavors that will let it shine. Use your favorite sauce or marinade to take your tofu to the next level. If you don’t have a staple marinade to compliment your tofu, try out the following recipe:

 

Image Credit: Chowhound

1/4 Soy Sauce

1/4 Water

3 Tbs. Maple Syrup

2 cloves Minced garlic

1 tsp. Grated Ginger

 

Quickly whisk up the ingredients listed above and let the tofu sit in the marinade for 10 minutes before pan frying. This simple teriyaki style marinade is a wonderful base for creating a delectable stir fry. Remember to play around with the recipes and adapt it to your liking.

 

Now for the vegetables!

There is no set list of vegetables for a stir fry. Rather, it is all about throwing in whatever you fancy. Looking for some inspiration of vegetables to add to your next stir fry? Consider some of the following ingredients:

Carrots:

Image Credit: Proud Italian Cook

 

Baby Bok Choy:

Image Credit: My Wild Kitchen

 

Assorted Bell Peppers:

Image Credit: Food Highs

 

Mushrooms:

Image Credit: Dr. Alan Christianson

 

Snap Peas:

Image Credit: Abundant Harvest Kitchen

 

Cooking Tips:

  • Be sure to purchase tofu that is extra firm. This indicates the soybean curds are rightly compact and therefore less fragile.
  • Press your tofu to drain out excess liquid. While there are special tofu presses, an efficient alternative is to wrap the tofu in a dish towel with weights placed on top. For best results, the tofu should be pressed for approximately a half an hour.
  • The remains of the tofu marinade can be added to the vegetable mixture to bring the flavor to the next level.
Alaina Carstensen

Gastronomy Content Contributor

Alaina Carstensen is a high school senior at Milton High School. Alaina is a dog lover and a tea fanatic who absolutely loves being in the kitchen. She takes every possible opportunity to cook a fresh meal.