Day 12? Learning The Process of Stir Fry

Mahi Mahi stir fry attempt

As far as I can tell, stir fries are a game of components. A lot of different moving parts that need to be considered carefully before adding to the wok or skillet or whatever it is you use.

(Editing Dee: “Wow, I’m being dramatic today aren’t I? I’m not changing it though, it goes away on it’s own later.”)

P.S. I will come back to this post and edit it as I learn more over time.

Also, also, I will share the recipe for day 12 once I figure it all out.

mahi mahi stir fry components
The components of day 12’s recipe: Mahi Mahi Stir Fry

And I know. Cooking in general is like that, but stir fries just feel different somehow. Complicated, but not. Fancy, yet simple.

Or maybe it was this specific stir fry that threw me off. Which wouldn’t be too surprising since I’ve made so few of them. I’m bound to get thrown off occasionally (often).

But even though I’ve only made a few stir fries, it’s always good to share what you’ve learned, even if you’ve only learned a little bit. Who knows, your little bit of learning might help someone else.

The Process:

I learned the process of making stir fry from Joshua McFadden’s book Grain’s For Every Season. The instructions are clear, but mistakes were still made on my part.

Mistakes like not looking up how to properly cook fish for a stir fry, particularly fish without any type of coating, but more on that later.

The components of an unrelated stir fry. A rice free version of it is on here somewhere…

The Steps to Stir Fry (but not word for word because copywrite infringement is not something I want to deal with.)

  • Protein: Quickly brown the protein in hot oil over high heat, but don’t cook it all the way through.
  • Aromatics: Add aromatics like garlic, ginger, onions, spices, etc.
  • Vegetables: Add the vegetables, starting with the most dense ones like carrots
  • Grains: Add the grains (or pasta) and season with salt (taste first) then add the protein back in.
  • Crunch and Seasoning: Optionally add something crunchy like toasted seeds or nuts.
  • Finish: Stir in the sauce and enjoy!
Chicken, carrots, broccoli, and onion, stir fried in orange sauce and served in a bowl.
Grains are optional (sometimes). This is the one that I posted back in February. I’ll link to it at the bottom of the page.

What I learned From Day 12’s Stir Fry Recipe

Fish Has An Attitude

Fish is not chicken. Fish is not beef. Fish is a delicate fragile little baby that can and will fall apart and/or stick to the pan if you don’t cook it properly.

Am I being dramatic?

Absolutely, but so is fish.

While you can get away with only browning chicken or beef and then adding it back in to finish cooking later, fish doesn’t seem to work that way. You may need to cook it all the way through and then add it in at the very end when you add the finishing sauce.

Mahi Mahi stir fry attempt
The Mahi Mahi stir fry we were supposed to get today, but the recipe needs a little tlc. Will get back to you.
Be Careful With The Salt.

The recipe for Day 12 was a mahi mahi stir fry with zucchini and onions. I added salt to the zucchini to remove some of the moisture. I also added salt to the grains, the fish, and the onions.

Also, soy sauce! It’s salty!


And while the stir fry wasn’t inedible, it was still too salty.

There’s a reason why the Chinese food places don’t add salt to their white rice. The sauce will season it.

Trust the sauce!

Also, taste every step of the way.

Mise En Place/ Putting In Place

Stir fries are not one of the “while the onions are cooking, chop this” type of recipe. A stir fry can come together in under 10 minutes, so you need to have everything chopped, seasoned, and portioned out before you start cooking anything.

stir fry with chicken, carrots, and broccoli being held aloft by chocolates

The End!

Ramblings: I had a case of being dramatic at the beginning of this post. I had to get up, walk away, come back, and then eat something to recover. It was a lot. But I’ve calmed down now, so it’s fine!

Anyway. If you’re still reading, here’s the link back to the orange chicken stir fry Give it a try, tell me what you think, and I’ll see you soon!

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