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Stir-frying – the ultimate fast food! It’s healthy and easy on the budget – you don’t need much protein, it’s a great way to eat lots of different vegetables, and it uses little fuel –so will help keep your energy costs low. What’s not to like?


We all know that eating a plant-based diet is a great way to good health. But did you know that our health is linked to the diversity of plant foods we eat, as they in turn give us fibre for our gut bacteria to feed on? The greater variety of vegetables, fruit and other plant foods – the greater diversity of gut bacteria= the best health.


Stir fries are the ultimate easy way to capture all this goodness Get Started: If you have a pile of vegetables, some spices and sauces e.g., soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce or oyster sauce, maybe a small amount of meat or chicken, and a packet of dried noodles, you’re ready to go. You just need a heavy-based frying pan or wok.

Step 1
If you want to use some protein, it’s best to cook this first.

Ideas:- beef, lamb or pork cut into thin strips, chicken/turkey thighs or breasts cut into strips or chunks, tofu, and prawns are all good. Remember – a little goes a long way. If you have some oyster sauce-pour some over the meat with some lemon or lime juice
and crushed garlic if you have it. Leave for half an hour. If you don’t have time then just skip this stage.

(More marinade recipes at the end, but if you only have soy sauce that will do!)

Drain the marinade. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in your wok until its really hot, then quickly fry the meat stirring to keep it moving. This should take a few minutes, Set aside,

Stage 2- the veg

This is where you can be really creative and use whatever you have. Its important to cut the vegetables into small pieces. Some vegetables take longer than others to cook, so I put them into 2 cooking groups

a) The slow ones
 Carrots – cut into matchsticks or use a peeler to make some ribbons
 Onions – sliced
 Leeks – sliced
 Celery chopped into 2cm chunks or in matchsticks
 Courgettes – sliced or chopped
 Red and green peppers- in strips
 Mushrooms- in quarters or halves if small
 Pak choi – chop the white roots into chunks and keep the green bit as a
‘quick cook’ veg
 Green beans – sliced
 Sugar snap peas
 Edamame beans
b) The quick ones
 Shredded cabbage – any type
 Shredded kale
 Spinach
 Pak choi leaves
 Beansprouts
 Spring onions
 Mini sweetcorn or a couple of tablespoons of tinned sweetcorn.

Add about a tablespoon of cooking oil to your wok/frying pan then add the slow cook vegetables and keep them moving with your spatula. Make sure the pan is on HIGH heat

Cook for 5 minutes, until they are cooked, but still crunchy. Then add the quick-cook vegetables and stir fry for a couple more minutes. Then return your meat/ chicken/ tofu whatever you are using, to the pan and keep stirring everything together. Add any marinade you have to stop it burning and to add flavour.

If you haven’t made a marinade you can just add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, oyster sauce or sweet chilli sauce or a mixture of any of these

If you like a satay type flavour just mix:-
 2 tablespoons peanut butter.
 2 tablespoons warm water.
 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce in a bowl then add this to your cooked vegetables.
Serve with rice or noodles

Marinades and Sauces

TIP: An easy way to make marinades is to put all the ingredients in a clean jam jar and shake it. Don’t forget to put the lid on first!!

  1. Basic Marinade:
     125mls soy sauce
     125mls dry sherry (or white wine or orange juice)
     1 tbs grated ginger
     1 tbs grated garlic
     1 tbsp fresh finely diced chilli or a sprinkling of chilli flakes or a dash of tabasco
  2. Peanut Butter Satay Sauce
     3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
     3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
     2 tablespoons soy sauce
     4 tablespoons water
    Mix all ingredients together, then add to your stir fry at the end of cooking
    This is really easy and very tasty.
    You can sprinkle some chopped peanuts onto the stir fry when you serve it.
  3. Soy and Lime Sauce
     6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
     2 tablespoons oil
     Juice half a lime ( use lemon if you don’t have lime)
     3 cm ginger grated
     1 clove of garlic grated
     ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
    Place all the ingredients for the stir fry sauce in a clean jam jar. Screw on the lid and shake until all the ingredients are well mixed.
    Add to your favourite stir fry.