I’m still skeptical of the whole stir fry thing. What makes it a stir fry and not just sauteed vegetables? Is the wok the only difference? Probably not, if you’re doing things right.
After some limited research, these are the major differences I have found between sauteing and stir frying:
- When sauteing, you heat the pan with the fat in it. When stir frying, you heat the pan dry.
- When sauteing, you can use fat with a low flash point, such as butter or extra virgin olive oil. When stir frying, you need a fat with a very high flash point, such as peanut or canola oil.
- When sauteing, you should pretty much flip the items one time. When stir frying, you should pretty much stir constantly.
For whatever that’s worth. For this “stir fry” we used onions and green beans (leftover from porcupine meatballs) and bell peppers (leftover from pizza). We served it over a combination of wild and jasmine rice that had been sitting in our pantry for six months. The point is that this was a completely found meal, no trip to the grocery store necessary. We fried up all the veggies along with some garlic in peanut oil, added some white wine vinegar, and finished it off by covering the wok and steaming it. It was sweet and sour and the veggies were perfectly crisp tender.