When making a stir-fried meal, you may wonder: what are stir-fried vegetables? As the name suggests, a stir fry vegetable recipe can be for a main dish or a side dish consisting of stir-fried vegetables. This cooking technique is characterized by high heat, a short cook time, and frequent stirring, ideally in a wok that holds heat efficiently.
Some stir-fried vegetables also include meat or fish, but for this recipe, we’ll just be concentrating on the vegetables. While stir-frying may be used for any cuisine, a Chinese vegetable stir fry like this is the most widely consumed. You can use any vegetable, from broccoli to cauliflower. If you prefer something other than vegetables, you can try substituting sliced beef, pork, or cubed chicken. Shrimp can also be substituted for chicken.
What Vegetables are Used for a Stir Fry?
For stir-fries, there are so many excellent vegetables! The beautiful thing about it is that you can use what you already have, so the options are unlimited. A good rule of thumb is mixing up your aromatics and including hard and soft vegetables. Some people also like to add and wilt some leafy vegetables, such spinach or bok choy, right before serving.
Let’s Look at Some of the Most Popular Vegetables for Stir-Fries
Here are some of the top stir-fry vegetables from each category to give you some inspiration:
Using mushrooms for a stir fry recipe is an excellent idea because they are tender and take on the flavors of the homemade sauce. If you don’t want to use frozen ones, try sauteed, roasted, or Italian sausage stuffed mushrooms. Onions add a sweet and aromatic flavor to stir fry dishes, and try caramelized onions to give your stir fry extra oomph. Try adding broccoli florets or carrots for a healthier version of stir fry.
Despite being soft, mushrooms are added to the pan along with the hard vegetables since it takes time for their moisture to evaporate. Additionally, the homemade veggie stir fry sauce gives them a tonne of flavor. Make sauteed, roasted, or Italian sausage–stuffed mushrooms if you have excess, or serve them as a meal.
For stir-fries, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and cook until crisp and tender but not mushy! It quickly cooks. Asparagus is one of the most popular components in stir-fries, and we also use it in baked cheesy asparagus, oven-roasted asparagus, and bacon-wrapped asparagus. We like to buy large bags of peppers in bulk from wholesale clubs so that we may use them in a variety of dishes. Use them to scoop up warm ranch dip, roast chicken, or taco turkey stuffed peppers.
Although these are technically a more brutal vegetable, we group them with the soft ones because they are best in a stir fry when shredded. They cook quickly when sliced, exactly like cabbage would. If you enjoy buying large quantities of produce, as we do, consider using the leftovers to make a Brussels sprouts casserole, a simple side dish with oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, or a freshening addition to a kale and Brussels sprout salad.
Use red, yellow, or white onions to add aromatic flavor to your stir fry. If you want to boost the taste, you can even caramelize onions by letting them cook at medium-low heat for an extended period before adding the rest of the ingredients to the stir fry and turning the heat up.
Other Root Vegetables
These include plants related to onions, such as leeks, shallots, and fennel, as well as turnips, parsnips, radishes, beets, and even little portions of potatoes. Keep these to a minimum if you’re trying to stick to a keto veggie stir fry because they tend to be higher in carbs.
This dish has a good balance of textures and bright colors. Heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the onion and cauliflower and cook, often stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and chile-garlic sauce, and add the snow peas and scallions after the cauliflower has finished cooking for 2 minutes. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender and the oil has reduced slightly. Serve the cauliflower stir-fry with rice.
One cup of cooked rice provides 10% of the daily protein and fiber you need. To make it a more filling meal, add about 3/4 cup of cashews. This amount makes two to three servings. Add edamame or tofu at the end of cooking. Cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber and can be eaten whole, and it is also delicious served with rice.
While fresh vegetables are best for a stir fry, you can also use frozen ones if you don’t mind waiting. Ensure they are less than a year old and do not thaw before putting them in the wok. Once the vegetables are prepared, they should be ready to cook in about 5 minutes. To ensure you get the desired flavor and tenderness, stir fry them for about a minute.
The best way to cook zucchini in a stir fry is to slice it thinly into 1-inch cubes. If you want, you can cut it into 1/4-inch slices as well. You can cut the zucchini into even strips to make the process easier. To make the recipe more interesting, try adding teriyaki sauce to the vegetables before cooking them. This sauce goes well with almost any type of vegetable.
You can use a variety of vegetables for your stir fry, including zucchini. To make the dish healthier, add more vegetables to the stir-fry mixture. This way, the zucchini will cook faster and retain its shape. If you’re worried about the carcinogen, you can blanch the vegetables first and remove the seeds.
After the vegetables cool down, add the shoyu, rice vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, and lemon juice. Then, serve them over steamed white or brown rice. The best part about zucchini is its cost-effectiveness – you can get an entire bag for less than $1.20.
Snow peas are a popular vegetable used in stir fry recipes in Chinese cuisine. They go well with chicken and beef stir fry and can be found in many frozen stir fry vegetable mixes. Garlic-infused snow peas are great for a simple but tasty side dish.
Just stir them with olive oil and garlic, and serve them alongside any main dish. Add other vegetables, such as green beans, bell peppers, or mushrooms, to make the word more exciting. The flavor of snow peas is not always the most desirable.
The vegetable is resistant to oil and water, and its rigid outer shell prevents flavors from penetrating its flesh. Cut snow peas into thin strips to avoid loss of taste, allowing flavors to penetrate the pea more effectively. While a thick snow pea may be more tender than a narrow strip, a firm texture indicates a fresh pea.
Sugar Snap Peas
Whether following a low-carb or low-calorie diet, stir-fried vegetables are perfect for your weekly menu. The low-carb count, low-calorie flavor, and little fat make them an ideal choice for stir-frying. And there are plenty of options – try these five delicious and easy recipes!
Pea pods can be purchased from the produce section of your grocery store or harvested from your garden. Just be sure to remove the tough string from the stem and the curved end of the pea. Be sure to cut off all sides. After trimming, add water to the pan and stir-fry until tender. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired. This recipe is a great meatless Monday option.
Water chestnuts can be cooked in a variety of ways. They are a great addition to salads and stir-fry vegetables and pair nicely with bacon. Before preparing water chestnuts for stir-frying, you should clean them well. Depending on your preference, you can use a vegetable brush or peeler. Then, slice the chestnuts into thin or thick slices.
Whether you cut them thin or thick, look for those with a firm shell and unwrinkled skin. Despite being called “nuts,” water chestnuts are technically aquatic vegetables. Their brown skin resembles tree chestnuts, but their taste and texture differ. They are nutty, sweet, and tart, similar to Asian pears, and the unpeeled tuber is crisp and resembles a round, glossy nut. Fresh water chestnuts are more flavorful than those in cans, which are less sweet.
What Vegetables are First Stir-Fried?
As previously mentioned, begin cooking the ingredients for your stir fry that will take the most time before moving on to those that will take the least time. First, come vegetables that require sweating and softening (such as mushrooms and onions), harder vegetables like carrots or broccoli, softer vegetables like peppers or cabbage, and finally, leafy greens that only quick wilt.
TIP: If you prefer to keep things easy, as we do, prepare the mushrooms and onions before moving on to the other ingredients. Cut any tougher vegetables into little pieces and cook them with the softer ones to aid this.
Is Vegetable Stir Fry Healthy? Does it Fit the Keto Diet?
Vegetables in stir-fries are highly healthful! This specific dish is suitable for keto diets and is gluten-free. Each serving contains a whopping amount of vitamins and nutrients and 6.9 grams of net carbohydrates. Watch out for added sugar or starch used as a thickening in some vegetable stir fry recipes.
Can you Make this into a Full Meal?
You can make this nutritious vegetable stir fry into a whole supper. Add your preferred cooked protein (chicken breast, chopped steak, or shrimp are all excellent choices), and then serve it with zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice (or your preferred rice replacement).
How to Prevent a Watery Vegetable Stir Fry?
Follow these three easy suggestions to prevent watery stir-fries:
- Thoroughly dry all of your vegetables before stir-frying! Vegetables will leak moisture while they cook because they naturally contain a lot of water, so give them space to air. The vegetables will steam rather than saute, becoming watery if the skillet is overcrowded or, even worse, covered.
- Use a lot of heat. This is the most important section! Moisture is helped to evaporate by high heat.
- Use a pan with good heat retention. Although a wok made of this material is the most popular choice because of its outstanding heat retention, I prefer this one because it is simpler to clean and still provides excellent heat retention. Sufficient cooking If you stir fry at high heat for a long enough period, the water will evaporate—and it won’t take very long.
Can Vegetable Stir Fry be Made without Sauce or Various Sauces?
Without a sauce, you can indeed produce a nutritious vegetable stir fry. Use just salt and pepper to season. Alternately, use a different sauce, such as a teriyaki sauce, ginger sauce, peanut sauce (try the peanut sauce from these lettuce wraps), or anything you concoct on the spot.
Vegetables stir-fried are a traditional favorite. Everyone will adore these stir-fried vegetables, whether you serve them alone or as a side dish! A stir fry is a fantastic alternative if you want Asian food but don’t want to order takeout.