Ever wonder why stir fry dishes in Chinese restaurants tasted different than the ones we cooked at home and the difference is indescribable? This is one good example of stir fry, the beef is tender, juicy, packed with flavor and most importantly the “taste of wok”, in mandarin they call it the “guo qi” flavor. So how to have a stir fry with the “taste of wok”? Here are some tips that I would like to share:
- A wok that is big enough to have most of your ingredients contacting the wok otherwise it will be steaming, not stir frying. When it is a steamed dish, the flavor, color and texture are totally different.
- Big flame, stir fry over the biggest flame as the “Taste of wok” is brought out by the intense heat from the flame. Make sure your wok is heat well enough before putting any ingredients into it.
- Speed, stir fry is usually done in a very fast manner, so make sure to have all the ingredients prepared before the stir fry begins.
I have watched videos demonstrating stir fry and in my humble opinion many them haven’t done a great job. I came across this video by a cook who name himself as Khoan Vong, I think he has done a pretty awesome job showing how to do a proper stir fry. Here is the one of his video I linked from his youtube channel, source: Stir Fry Beef with Bok Choy
– 120g beef (see below for marinate)
– 1 large white bok choy
– 3 cloves fresh garlic
– Dash of cooking wine
– Dash of pepper powder
– Half gram salt
– 1g MSG
– 1g sugar
– Half teaspoon oyster sauce
– 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
– 1 teaspoon garlic oil
– Potato starch to thicken
– 120g beef cut against the grain into small slices
– Pinch of salt
– Pinch of MSG
– Dash of wine
– Dash of sesame oil
– Dash of pepper
– 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
– 1g baking soda
– 2 tablespoon water
– Half teaspoon potato starch
– Marinate for 30 minutes
Cut the white bok choy into single stems.
Blanch beef for 2 minutes; drain and set aside
You may need to blanch the bok choy for 20 seconds; drain and set aside
Cut garlic into small slices
Heat wok with some oil and add the garlic; stir fry for a bit
Add the bok choy and beef; stir fry for a bit.
Add dash of cooking wine and pepper powder. Stir fry some more.
If the wok is dry add 30ml of water. This may be due to you blanched the bok choy first and set aside to drain. I cooked with fresh bok choy soak in water; it therefore have liquid.
Add rest of salt, MSG, sugar, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir fry for some more.
Lightly thicken with potato starch to complete.
*I tried this recipe, it is OK if you want to leave out the MSG, it tastes as good.