Gather your utensils. Professional chefs use a mesh ladle to toss meat and vegetables around in the wok, but if you don't have one of these, a wooden spoon will do just fine. Place several large, clean bowls and plates on the counter next to your wok so you can set your cooked items aside as you prepare them in batches. Other items you'll need: a chef's knife, cutting board, and several bowls of different sizes to store liquid mixtures and chopped herbs and vegetables.Cut and dry food prep. The most time-consuming part of stir-frying is preparing the ingredients. You'll want everything portioned out and cleaned, chopped, sliced and diced in advance. The actual stir-frying is fast and furious (you've probably heard those pans rattling like mad while waiting for your Chinese takeout!) so meat, vegetables, noodles, spices and oils should be ready and within reaching distance so you can grab and get on with it.
Chop everything into bite-sized chunks to ensure quick and thorough cooking. Make sure there's no extra water or other liquid in your wok while stir-frying meat and vegetables. As mentioned earlier, liquid in the wok will cause your meal to stew instead of lightly fry. Stir-fry in batches. Properly stir-fried food retains its crisp, firm exterior and tender, juicy inside by cooking small portions at a time. Heat the wok, drizzle in enough oil to coat the surface, and add enough small cuts of beef, pork or chicken to just cover the bottom. Fry on medium-high heat, tossing the entire time. When your first batch of meat is thoroughly cooked, remove from the wok and drain on paper towels.
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