Stir fry: how to make a stir fry – with whatever you have in the fridge

Discover how to make a stir fry and finish off anything hanging around in the fridge – the ultimate mid-week meal

how to make a stir fry
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Want to know how to make a stir fry? In terms of mid-week meals, it doesn't get much quicker, or easier, than a stir fry. And the beauty of this tasty dish is that it can be made with whatever you have hanging around in the fridge – we're talking a solitary chicken breast, a slice of steak, a couple of prawns and almost any veggies. 

Serve with rice, or noodles, as a meal within its own right, or as a side – perhaps minus the meat – to whatever you're cooking up. A great way to reduce food waste and give your greens plenty of flavour. 

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How to make a stir fry


  • Any vegetables left over in the fridge – bean sprouts, peppers, onion, carrots, pak choi, sugar snap peas, baby corn, spinach, asparagus and courgettes all work well
  • Any meat, prawns or tofu at hand
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic, crushed
  • Ginger, grated
  • Sesame oil, for cooking
  • Toasted peanuts or cashew nuts


1. If you're adding noodles or rice to your stir fry, we'd recommend cooking them prior to starting on the meat and veg. Or, you can cook them so that they'll finish at the time you need to add them to the pan – in around 10 to 15 minutes from the start of the stir frying.

2. Add a little sesame oil – or whatever oil you have at hand – to your pan, along with the garlic and ginger. Then, begin cooking any meat, or tofu, you may be including.

3. When your meat is partially cooked, add in harder veggies that may take a little more time to soften – that's carrots, asparagus, courgettes and the like.

4. Once they've started to soften, you can add softer vegetables into the mix. That's everything from pak choi and spinach, through to sugar snap peas and peppers. Remember, the point of stir fry is that everything still has a good amount of crunch. 

5. Once everything is suitably softened, add your rice (see today's best rice cooker deals below) or noodles to the pan along with your soy sauce. Mix together until thoroughly combined. 

Top tip: Want more flavour? There are tons of ready-made stir fry sauces to buy that are worth having as store cupboard standbys – that way you're always ready to whip up a stir fry at a moment's notice. Our advice? Don't drown the stir fry in the sauce – the lighter the touch, the better.

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