A little while back, I took a Chinese Cooking class through the Mainline School Nights. Classes were held in a cramped little room above the Hunan Restaurant in Ardmore, PA. I learned to make all of my favorites: Moo Shu pork and pancakes, dim sum, stir fry, and more.
During one of the classes, we were taught that with a little preparation, stir fry can be a very easy meal to produce. There are a few tricks I can teach you to making stir fry at home. Adjust the ingredients to your personal tastes.
First, the way to get a think sauce for stir fry is by marinating your meat. Our instructor taught us to use Chinese corn starch, but regular corn starch worked fine. First, mix together corn starch and soy sauce in a bowl. A ratio of 1 T of cornstarch to 1/4 cup of soy sauce is probably a pretty good bet. Then, marinate your meat of choice for about 1/2 an hour in the mix before you add to a hot wok (or pan). Cooking meat in a hot wok takes only minutes, so be sure to keep a good eye on it and constantly keep it moving.
The second tip I have to offer is work in batches. First, heat 1-2 T of oil in a pan on high and cook your meat in the marinade, remove & set aside. Then, add your vegetables (thicker vegetables like broccoli and thicker carrot slices take longer, so add those first).
If your pan is too crowded, it will no allow moisture to evaporate, so work in small batches of vegetables.
Always keep your stir fry moving. When the vegetables are finished, add everything back to the pan and lightly mix until everything is combined.
Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
1 lb steak (strip or flank) sliced thin
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 pkg Chinese rice noodles
2 T corn starch
1/2 cup soy sauce (do not use Kikkoman, it is too salty - I prefer Pearl River)
Oil for pan (because stir fry cooks at such a high heat, it is important to use oil that has a high smoking point like canola oil or peanut oil)
Soak noodles in warm water for 20 minutes.
Combine corn starch and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Add steak and marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Heat a wok or large skillet to high heat. Coat pan with 1-2 T of oil. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer and it will pop if you sprinkle water in it), add the beef and marinade to pan. Keep moving the beef around for a minute or two, or until almost cooked throughout. Remove beef from pan.
Add more oil to pan if needed. Add broccoli and stir fry until cooked through - color will be a dark, bright green.
Add beef back to pan. Top with rice noodles and combine.
Serve with rice and for a great addition of flavor, top with a few drops of sesame oil.