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Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

stir fry

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry

After the long Easter weekend filled with friends, family and lots of good food, I am so ready for a light and veggie filled meal to get me on track for swim suit season. So when I was searching for such a dish on BHG’s site, I stumbled across this Asparagus-Snap Pea Stir-Fry and I just had to give it a try.

I wanted to plump the stir-fry up just a bit so I lightly seasoned 1 lb. of shrimp with salt and pepper then sautéed them before cooking the veggies. I set them aside until I was ready to add the sauce ingredients. At that point I added the shrimp back in and coated them in the light sauce.

You could easily substitute in some sliced chicken, pork, beef or even tofu! Or, just follow the original recipe and keep it all veggies!

Either way, this dish was a wonderful addition to my weekly menu and with asparagus season in full swing, I can definitely see this happening a lot more often.

Oh! One last thing I did to modify this quick and easy dish was to add a sprinkle of chopped cilantro when it was finished.

I’m a huge fan of cilantro.

I think it really brings a lot of aromatic flavors to Asian dishes, so you should definitely try it out!

Give this light and fresh stir-fry a try as well. I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Find the Original Recipe HERE

My modifications:

  • Add 1 lb. raw shrimp (season with salt and pepper, sauté in 1 tbsp olive oil. After cooked set aside until ready to add sauce ingredients to the veggies, then toss in the shrimp)
  • Garnish with 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

If mealtime in your household involves the words “quick,” “easy” and “minimum mess,” then look no further than this 30-minute Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry starring tender diced chicken and fresh veggies tossed in a tangy ginger-soy sauce.

This meal-in-a-bowl has become a go-to in my weeknight repertoire. And not only does it fall under the “Fast and Flavorful” category, it can also be as healthy or as indulgent (read: noodles!) as you’d like. But before you fire up those flames, read on for my top tips for stir-frying success.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Standardize Your Sizes: The size of your ingredients plays an important role in how quickly and evenly they will cook. Put those knife skills to the test and aim to slice and dice each ingredient into equal-sized pieces.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Pick Your Pan: To wok or not to wok? That is the question. While a wok’s high sides will minimize any potential mess from the frequent stirring (hence, stir-frying), a sauté pan with 2- to 3-inch high sides will work just fine.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Cook, Remove, Repeat: The technique of stir-frying often involves cooking some ingredients, removing them from the pan, adding other ingredients, and then tossing it all together for the big finish. In this particular recipe, we stir-fry the broccoli and peppers, remove them, stir-fry the chicken with the sauce, and then add back in the veggies.

This method of preparation prevents varying ingredients from being overcooked or undercooked. By cooking the veggies, removing them, and then adding them back in at the end, we’re preserving their tender texture while avoiding a mushy mess.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Ready for a no-fuss meal that will make the most of all those leftover odds and ends in the fridge? Wok and roll with this quick and easy recipe for Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry.

- Kelly Senyei, Just a Taste


Hi, I’m Grace Young, cookbook author and stir-fry guru. The wok is one of the most incredible cooking instruments, yet it’s sadly overlooked. I was delighted to create modern recipes that demonstrate the versatility of the wok for the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

Photo Credit (image on left): Steven Mark Needham
Photo Credit (image on right): Juli Leonard

With a wok you can pan-fry, braise, steam, boil, poach, deep-fry and even smoke foods. But the easiest way to fall in love with this iconic pan is to stir-fry. Seasonal ingredients are the key to a great stir-fry. The high heat and fast cooking accentuates the natural flavor and texture of ingredients, especially vegetables.

My favorite place to shop for produce is the farmer’s market. This spring as I wandered around the Union Square farmer’s market in New York City I couldn’t resist the young garlic, baby lettuce, and picture-perfect radishes. On the way home I stopped to buy shrimp, and by the time I was in my kitchen, I had the inspiration to create the Seared Shrimp Salad with Wok Dressing. I wanted a simple dressing, fragrant with sesame oil, but with a little kick from sriracha sauce, garlic, and a hint of honey.

I wrapped the just-cleaned shrimp with plenty of paper towels until they were dry to the touch. Excess moisture causes spattering and takes down the temperature of the pan, preventing the shrimp from searing. After a quick stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and coconut-infused shrimp is intensely flavored and laced with wok aroma. Served with young lettuce, radishes, avocado, and the warm dressing, this dish captures the fresh taste of springtime.

The beauty of a stir-fry is once you understand the basics you can improvise and vary the vegetables as the seasons evolve. From now until the end of autumn, stir-fries are at their best, when farmer’s markets are abundant with just harvested vegetables that come alive in your wok. I encourage you to explore your local farmer’s markets and buy what’s in season. If you’ve never cooked with a wok now’s the time to start your culinary love affair. Get the recipe here!


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