Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How to make the perfect stir fry


When it comes to making a stir fry, we usually depend upon the conveniently bundled kit that can be easily found in our local Tesco. We'll usually fry it until it's limp and greasy and then smother it in a teeth-rotting sachet of sweet and sour sauce.

This can go on no longer. We've been chatting to one of the world's most respected chefs Ken Hom and he's given us his simple recipe for the perfect stir fry, just in time for Chinese New Year.


100g (4oz) Tianjin or Sichuan preserved vegetables

1½ tablespoons groundnut or vegetable oil

450g (1lb) minced pork

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar


lettuce leaves


3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions

fresh chilli (optional)

I’d like to choose minced pork for this as it’s easy and we all like easy. It’s also really hard to screw up, which people like. People need to remember when they’re making a stir fry the wok needs to be really hot. Keeping the wok extremely hot is important as it gives the meal a smoky grill flavour which is important in a stir fry.

What I would do is get these really flavourful preserved vegetables that you can buy in Chinese supermarkets, rinse them well, drain them and then blot with kitchen roll. Chop them up and put them aside. If you can’t find preserved vegetables then they can be substituted for pickled gherkins.

You then heat the wok until it’s really hot before you add the oil. Then you add the oil and put in the minced pork. Then you start frying it for around 2 minutes and add the preserved vegetables and then finish that with some soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and a bit of sugar. You don’t need salt because the preserved vegetables are salty.

I like to serve that in fresh lettuce leaves, adding chopped spring onions and then a bit of chilli.

Ken Hom's Complete Chinese Cookbook is out now, BBC Books, £25


ChickenTikkaMasala15 (1).jpg

How to cook the perfect curry


How to make the perfect club sandwich


How to make sunny vegetable patties


London's 20 Best Date Spots

Valentine's Day isn't too far away...

31 Jan 2017

Chart reveals the exact time supermarkets reduce their items

16 Dec 2016

Six reasons you should run an ultramarathon

Our writer on why you should take on this superhuman challenge

by Howard Calvert
13 Sep 2016

How to negotiate a life-changing salary rise

Baby we got your money

by Nick Pope
13 Jun 2016

How to make your cat more affectionate

Fiercely independent or just fierce, this is how you make them love you

by Emily Badiozzaman
19 Feb 2016

TFL Could Push Uber To Extinction With New 'Unfair' Regulations

30 Sep 2015

These Chat-Up Lines Will (Apparently) Make You Great At Online Dating

28 Sep 2015