In my kitchen, olive oil is an every dish ingredient. It’s drizzled over salads, poured over noodles and dipped into by hunks of bread as a side dish. But my secondary culinary obsession would have to be inspired by Chinese stir-fry. It’s simple. It’s quick. And it has become a great way to boost my veggie intake while frying in olive oil’s silky rich flavor. All you need is a wok and high heat.
But EVOO isn’t the only stir-fry staple. This recipe roundup will show you how to experiment with smooth avocado oil, sweet coconut oil and others as alternatives. Because playing with fresh frying flavors is simply more fun. And you could use a little culinary excitement. Couldn’t we all?
Rich in monounsaturated, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (aka really good sh*t for your heart and rest of your body), olive oil boasts a bolder flavor and makes its mark as the backbone of the Mediterranean diet.
Tired of seeing those posts from your friends studying abroad lounging on some gorgeous Mediterranean sea shore? Resort to stir-frying your feelings. This recipe reaches down to its cooking oil’s roots with a tour d’Italia. Balsamic and sun dried tomatoes bring bright, tart flavors that saturate the eggplant and play up the asparagus’ naturally mild earthiness.
The simplest of the simple. This mushroom chicken stir-fry relies on a mini marinade to marry the flavors of soy, garlic and a touch of sugar. So go ahead, quell your craving and curl up with a hearty bowl of stir-fried goodness.
Ever wonder what ramen would taste like if a sketchy packet of powder protein “flavor” wasn’t the only seasoning? Wonder no more. This dish upgrades old-school packaged ramen with sweet Brussels sprouts and tart lemon. Top with feta cheese and relish in your new found ramen appreciation.
Trust me. I know how enticing the takeout menu can be when moving from your couch to cook sounds like running the length of a marathon (or at least the same distance you should have walked this morning for your 8 am). But a delicious, healthy, veggie-filled meal is only 15 minutes away with this recipe. Somebody got time for that. That somebody is you.
Earthy sage and stocky portobello make this dish unique drawing on traditionally fall flavors with a refreshing stir-fry twist. Rice wine vinegar is the secret ingredient lightly livening an otherwise hearty dish. I make this one when all I want out of a rainy afternoon is a warm bowl of stir-fry and the softest blanket I can steal from my roommate’s collection. #ProTip: It’s not stealing, per-say, if you offer to share.
Darling of the vegan baking scene, coconut oil is akin to the consistency of lard in its solid form. But as a liquid, it’s light and silky smooth providing a unique nutty base for several stir-fried dishes. The jury is still out on the health benefits for this one, but in moderation (you only need about a teaspoon or tablespoon to get the ball rolling for any of these recipes) virgin coconut oil is a unique tropical-esque alternative to other high heat cooking oils.
Traditional teriyaki sauce is goop city, amirite? It’s thick, oversaturated with sodium and basically masks the flavor of anything and everything else in your dish. No more. This teriyaki recipe calls for a much lighter take on the tangy sauce with the addition of potent ginger to offset its flavor. Sophisticated stir-fry baby steps, here we come.
Yes, I’m 100% serious. You can avoid washing dishes today and eat out of a freaking pineapple. Sweet and sour chicken never looked or tasted so good as when you made it yourself. Fresh, tangy pineapple is fried in coconut oil with sweet honey and served with chicken and broccoli to soak in all that glorious tropical stir-fry flavor. Sesame and ginger add dimension to the flavors mellowing that super sweet honey/pineapple pairing.
#SpoonTip: Recommended pairings include tropical cocktails sipped out of fresh coconut of course.
Stir-fry is not only for dinner. Applying the same technique of frying fresh ingredients in a small amount of oil at high heat can make for some killer dessert recipes as well, like an ice cream sandwich with a cinnamon apple core. This way, you are more in control of your sugar intake as well. And the gummy consistency of the core tastes like a caramel-like surprise for the inside of your sandwich. Feel free to mix and match the cookie and ice cream flavors as well.
Rice pudding is one of the most versatile desserts in that it provides somewhat of a blank canvas for additional flavors. This simple-to-make sauce provides a complex flavor combination including parsley, goat cheese, grapes and raspberries. Together, it just works and develops a semi-sweet and tangy concoction that can be drizzled over cheesecakes and other desserts as well.
Sweet and savory, these crescent roll bites can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner and every snack in-between. Sage brings a rounded earthiness that compliments mellow banana and creamy ricotta cheese. They’re so easy to make, the pan and oven do most of the work for you. Make extra and save some in the fridge for tomorrow. Enjoy them warm for the best flavor.
High in vitamin E (great for your immune system and skin) and hailed as the healthy fat of choice for our avocado-obsessed generation, avocado oil is the new kid on the block for cooking, cleansing and nourishing your entire body. You’ve seen the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) star in many an intriguing YouTube video but it’s time it made its way back to the kitchen. This oil handles high heat frying well without overpowering the other flavors of your stir fry making for the perfect cooking tool in many recipes like these.
More wine please. No really, we need more wine. This dish is a tart twist on your packaged ramen pulling on flavors of the Mediterranean like Kalamata olives and whole chickpeas traditionally used to make hummus. It’s like a staycation on a plate taking you to all those places everyone studying abroad always raves about. Taste the travel without leaving your kitchen. Now that’s a staycation I can get behind.
The new way to PB&J, this ramen revamping recipe is inspired by Thai peanut sauce. It’s a mellow recipe that lets the peanut butter shine and upgrades your traditional ramen cup-o-noodle with a fried egg topping. #Classy
Steak, avocado and lemon are a trifecta of perfection in this pesto-inspired dish. It sounds like something you’d find on a fancy-AF restaurant menu, but it really only takes one pot and 2 steps. So now you can impress that cute girl from Speech Communications with more than your ability to smooth talk her into a coffee date. #LevelUp man, level up.
The lowest in saturated fats, canola oil offers heart-healthy benefits, much like olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats. It’s high ALA (an acid compared to omega-3 fatty acids found in fish) make it one of the most intriguing for nutrition researchers.
This delicious pork stir-fry is on the traditional side of flavors with oyster and soy sauce providing a tangy sweet base. Whip this one out when you’re looking to use up your fresh vegetables and craving an Asian creation without the delivery charge.
These next recipes utilize various stir fry sauces that can be found at your local grocer in a wide variety including ginger, sesame and more. The sauces bring most of the flavor and do most of the work for you. So test them out if combining spices just isn’t your forte.
Just 5 ingredients make this dish one of the easiest in the whole roundup. But that doesn’t mean it skimps out on flavor. Sweet and sour sauce and Sriracha combine for a familar punch of tasty sweet spice.
Why do basil beef one way when you can try three? Transform your Thai basil beef into lettuce wraps, noodles and even hand pies with these recipes. Again, the sauce comes in clutch providing most of your flavor letting you play with presentation and texture instead of testing for the perfect spice combination.
Light and healthy doesn’t have to be boring, especially if the recipe calls for tangy sesame ginger sauce like this one. It’s earthy. It’s simple. It means you just have to toss it together and watch it cook. We believe in your cooking prowess. Now show your roomies or a special someone what you can whip up with your wok.