Have you ever wondered what vegetables go best in a stir fry?
This article will provide an in-depth look at the types of vegetables that can be included to make a delicious and nutritious dish.
From peppers and mushrooms to squash and broccoli, you may be surprised to find out all the different options available.
The use of a variety of vegetables also adds flavor and texture, making it more than just another meal on the table.
Learning how to properly prepare each vegetable is key to having a successful stir fry with unique tastes and aromas.
So if you’re looking for some exciting new stir fry ideas, look no further – this article has everything you need to know about incorporating vegetables into your stir fry.
What Veggie Order for Stir-Fry?
Most people cook the vegetables in a stir fry one at a time, according to their cooking times.
This is because some vegetables require longer cooking times than others and will become overcooked if cooked all together.
Vegetables with a longer cooking time should be added first, followed by those that are quicker to cook.
When preparing a stir-fry dish, it’s important to choose vegetables that have similar cooking times so that all of the ingredients can be added around the same time and cooked evenly.
Here are twelve of the best veggies for stir-frying—including their respective cooking times:
- Onion (3 minutes).
- Garlic (1 minute).
- Ginger (1 minute).
- Carrots (3 minutes).
- Broccoli (3 minutes).
- Snow peas (2 minutes).
- Mushrooms (2 minutes).
Green Leafy Vegetables:
- Bok Choy/Chinese Cabbage (3 minutes).
- Zucchini (2 minutes).
- Bell peppers/capsicum (2 minutes).
Tropical Fruit And Veg:
- Pineapple/Mango/Banana (2 minutes).
- Sweet potato (3 minutes).
- Jalapeno peppers/chilli peppers (3 minutes).
What Vegetables Go in Stir Fry? 12 Best Vegetables
Stir fry is a dish that is notoriously versatile, allowing you to mix and match just about any combination of vegetables, proteins, and sauces.
The key to a great stir fry lies in the balance of flavor profiles; if you start with the right vegetables, the rest of your dish will be sure to come together nicely.
Below are some of our favorite vegetables for stir-fries, so start chopping and make this week’s dinner extra special.
Broccoli is a popular choice to add to stir fry dishes as it retains its crunch and can easily be cooked within a few minutes.
Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins K, C, A and B6 as well as iron, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants.
It’s an excellent addition to a stir fry dish; just make sure you don’t overcook it.
You can add either raw or steamed broccoli directly to your stir fry dish, or even steam it ahead of time for added convenience.
Cauliflower is a popular stir fry option due to its mild flavor and incredibly versatile nature.
The vegetable is low on calories but offers a high concentration of vitamin C, manganese, as well as other nutrients.
When stir frying cauliflower make sure it’s pre-cooked or roasted to help it retain its texture and freshness.
The best way to do this is to steam the vegetable lightly before adding it to the stir fry mix.
Cauliflower adds a perfect contrast of texture in any stir fry dish.
It can be served on its own in simple oil and ginger sauce or combined with different ingredients for more flavor depth.
3. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come from the species of plant called Capsicum annuum, and are sometimes referred to as sweet peppers.
There are many different varieties of color, including yellow, green, orange and red.
Bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamins A and E, and they provide valuable dietary fiber.
When used in stir fry dishes, bell peppers add a wonderful flavor and texture to the dish while also providing added nutritional value.
They can be sliced into bite-sized pieces or cubed for a more uniform texture.
Remember not to overcook them so they retain their crispness.
Combine various colors of bell pepper with other vegetables such as broccoli or bok choy for a colorful entree with added nutritional benefits.
4. Bok Choy
Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, is an essential ingredient for any traditional stir fry.
It has a slightly crunchy texture and delicate flavor, which makes it a favorite amongst home cooks.
Bok choy is a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron.
To prep it for a stir fry, be sure to wash off any dirt or grit by dunking it in cold water.
Pat the bok choy dry with paper towels then cut into 1-2 inch pieces before adding to your wok or pan.
You can find bok choy in most major supermarkets or at Asian groceries alongside other Asian vegetables like gai lan and pea shoots.
Carrots have a sweet and subtle flavor, which makes them an ideal addition to a stir fry dish.
They are also very versatile, as they retain their flavor and crunchy texture when stir fried.
Carrots can be cut into a variety of shapes including julienne, cubes and matchsticks.
For faster preparation, pre-cut carrots are now sold in the fresh section of many grocery stores.
Even pre-cut carrots can benefit from additional slicing or dicing to reduce the size before adding them to the dish.
Keep in mind that carrots require slightly longer cook times than other vegetables like peppers so add them first if you are preparing shrimp or chicken as well.
Celery is an excellent addition to stir fry dishes due its sweet, crunchy texture and unique flavor.
It is full of vitamins and antioxidants, making it especially healthy.
Celery can be sliced and added to the stir fry near the end of cooking for a crunchy texture, or pre-cooked if desired for a softer taste.
Be sure to slice the celery into thin pieces as thicker slices can be tough when cooked.
7. Snow Peas
Snow peas are a popular stir fry addition for so many reasons.
Not only do they have a pleasant crunchy texture, but that crunch often outlasts other vegetables in the wok, giving them just the right texture and flavor to brighten any Chinese-style stir fry.
Additionally, their added sweetness can really help balance out spicier dishes.
When buying snow peas for a stir fry, look for those that are firm and very green in color without yellowing.
To prepare them, be sure to snap off the stem end of each snow pea and pull off the strings before adding them to your dish.
As they cook quickly — only needing 1-2 minutes maximum — it’s best to add them either at the beginning of your cooking, or right when you add any sauces near the end.
8. Baby Corn
Baby corn offers a slightly sweet and tender bite in stir fry dishes, and it is an easy vegetable to prepare.
Simply cut away the tips of the kernels and add them to your dish.
This small but mighty vegetable adds nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber, making it an excellent addition to any meal.
It can also be added as a garnish for flavorful visual presentation.
When introducing baby corn into your recipes, take note that they cook quickly and should be added near the end of cook time so they don’t become too soft or mushy.
Mushrooms are a great addition to any stir-fry.
With their earthy flavor, they can be added to almost any dish and offer plenty of health benefits.
They are low in calories yet rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Best of all, mushrooms absorb the flavors of the other ingredients around them, making them an extremely versatile household staple.
When choosing your mushrooms for stir-fry dishes, be sure to select firm mushrooms that have not appeared slimy or wilted.
The most popular type of mushroom used in stir-fry dishes is the button mushroom or white mushroom as it is sometimes referred to.
Other types such as sliced portobello mushrooms work quite well too.
It’s best to add your mushroom ingredients towards the end of cooking the veggies when preparing a stir-fry dish as they do not take long to cook through and over-cooking them will make them rubbery and tough.
In terms of prep work, adding salt when cutting mushrooms prior to cooking helps draw out some of their natural moisture which helps keep them from becoming soggy when cooked together with other vegetables in a hot wok or pan.
Zucchini is a summer squash similar to cucumbers, but with a milder flavor.
It can be used raw, roasted or grilled in any number of dishes, but is particularly tasty when stir-fried.
Zucchini is a delicious source of essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A and C, potassium, dietary fiber and antioxidants.
For a nutrition boost in your stir fry, toss in sliced zucchini for extra crunch and flavor.
Be sure to cook the zucchini until it is bright green before removing from the heat, as it will become quite soft if overcooked.
11. Yellow Squash
Yellow squash is a popular choice for stir-fry dishes because it’s not only easy to prepare but also full of nutrients.
It is high in vitamin C, which is necessary for an array of metabolic and physiological processes, including tissue repair and healthy immune function.
It contains vitamins B1, B6 and K, as well as magnesium and phosphorus.
When added to your stir-fry dishes, yellow squash provides an exquisite sweetness and crunchy texture.
Be sure to slice the squash into thin strips so that it can cook evenly and quickly in the pan or wok.
Eggplants are the 12th most popular vegetable for stir-fry.
Eggplant is a low calorie, fat-free, cholesterol-free food and an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamins B1, B6 and K.
It is a versatile ingredient that has fantastic texture and earthy flavor.
When prepared correctly its texture can be similar to chicken or fish.
To get the best texture in your stir fry cut into large cubes, coat lightly in flour or cornstarch and quickly fry in oil until tender but still crispy.
Add it to your stir fry near the end of cooking as overcooking will cause it to become quite mushy.
Stir fry is a type of dish that combines quickly cooked vegetables with a flavorful sauce, creating a meal that is both nutritious and delicious.
When done correctly, stir fry can be light, flavorful and satisfying.
When selecting vegetables for your stir fry, you should consider the different textures, shapes and flavors that will bring out the best in the dish.
This guide presents 12 of the best vegetables to put in your stir fry.
Choose from classics like bell peppers and carrots, or branch out into some new ingredients like zucchini and asparagus.
Regardless of what you choose, make sure to cut them up evenly so they cook evenly in the skillet or wok.
Experiment with different combinations to find the perfect match for your taste buds.