Tips for perfecting this family favorite
1) THE MEAT: If frozen, defrost ALL THE WAY. Rinse/pat dry your meat with paper towels. If your meat is icy or cold, it will release water from the defrosting process causing it to boil, which is NOT good.
2) HEAT: Heat up your wok or skillet with oil that has a high smoke point … Wait for it. Don’t put ANYTHING in the pan until that pan is smoking.
3) Put the meat (or veg) in the HOT pan. DON’T STIR IT. Wait 45-60 seconds, and THEN toss. Wait another 45-60 seconds for the other side of the meat or veg to sear. Wait until you see/smell seared food aroma.
4) SAUCE: Don’t add it while the meat or veg are cooking. Wait until the end.
5) SIZES: If you’re making a large quantity and/or have Meat and veg of different sizes and cooking requirements, cook them separately. Follow the directions above for each item and then throw in a big bowl. Cook everything just a TAD under because it will finish cooking in the bowl.
6) Throw everything back in the pan. Add sauce. Toss. Serve!
NEVER let your meat or veg BOIL. If there are big boiling bubbles of moisture when cooking your meat or veg, drain into the sink, or reserve the liquid for later to add back with the sauce.
For that “Chinese food restaurant” “sheen” and tenderness, toss meat in corn starch, but only if you have followed the steps above, otherwise your protein will stick to the pan and be a gummy mess.