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What Are the Best Tips for Making Stir-Fry with Frozen Vegetables?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Making stir-fry with frozen vegetables can be a good way to limit the amount of prep-work that you have to do for dinner, yet some extra steps are needed to make sure that they retain a decent texture and have the best flavor. Some of the best tips include patting the vegetables down prior to cooking them, making sure that they are as dry as possible before you add them to the pan. Cooking any meat and removing it before you add the frozen vegetables can add a lot of flavor to the dish, as can seasoning the oil before you cook the vegetables. Keeping the pan at a very high heat is also important so that the vegetables cook properly.

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One of the primary issues faced when making a stir-fry using frozen vegetables is the vegetables developing a soggy texture, which is typically not the desired result when preparing these types of dishes. A good way to avoid this is to rinse the vegetables briefly before you use them to remove any ice crystals and then pat them dry to remove excess moisture. Frozen vegetables naturally have a fair amount of water, which is released when the vegetables are cooked. By doing this first, you can prevent the water from making its way into your stir-fry with frozen vegetables, which can ultimately make the dish wet. This can also help to reduce the amount of splattering that occurs when the water from the vegetables comes in contact with the hot oil in the pan, keeping your stove top cleaner and you safer.

Although frozen vegetables are often very close in flavor to their fresh counterparts, they often lack the same crispness, and can occasionally have a slightly-off flavor. To mask this and add additional zest to your stir-fry, it can be a good idea to cook any meat that you plan to use in the stir-fry first and then remove it from the pan before you add the frozen vegetables. The flavor from the meat will season the pan and the oil, and this will be carried on to the vegetables. If you are not using meat, you can season the oil that you use in your pan by sauteing aromatics such as ginger, garlic, and onion briefly in the oil before adding the frozen vegetables. To prevent them from burning, remove them from the pan before you add the vegetables or make sure that you are constantly stirring the items in the pan.

Stir-fry with frozen vegetables is meant to be a quick-cooking dish and is characterized by its use of high-heat to sear the outside of the food, enhancing its flavor. For this reason, one of the most important tips for making a stir-fry with frozen vegetables is to keep the pan at a relatively high heat, between medium-high and high, depending on how your stove cooks. This will allow the outside of the vegetables to caramelize, while still leaving the interior crisp and flavorful.

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anon974864
Post 5

I tried this 'non-thaw' method of stir frying frozen veggies and it was absolutely amazing! Much better than when I stir fried after thawing. Then the veggies were soggy and unappealing. Thumbs up.

anon940202
Post 4

I just throw in some random chopped veggies in some oil and season them to perfection. Butter popcorn seasoning is really good on veggies, actually!

candyquilt
Post 3

I wouldn't thaw frozen vegetables for stir fry in the microwave either. But they do need to rest on a clean towel or some tissue paper for a few minutes before they are cooked.

Also, the oil in the pan should be very hot when the vegetables are added. This will fry the veggies and add flavor to the dish. I usually saute my onions and garlic in the oil first and then add the vegetables like the article said. I let them cook in the oil for a few minutes before adding other ingredients and sauces. Most people add the vegetables when the oil is not hot. What happens then is that the vegetables absorb the oil instead of cooking in it. This prevents the vegetables from being crispy.

I think that frozen vegetable are a great alternative to fresh vegetables. If they're cooked right, the stir fry will turn out great.

bear78
Post 2

@donasmrs-- It's not a good idea to thaw frozen vegetables for stir fry. I throw mine directly into the wok. I don't wash them or anything. Yes, this will add some water to the wok but since I don't add any other water and keep stirring, it's not a problem.

Try doing this next time and you will see that the stir fry will come out crispier and with more flavor. Washing the veggies will only make them soggy.

donasmrs
Post 1

I made stir fry with frozen vegetables yesterday. I thawed them and then washed them before adding them to the pan. But the result wasn't very good. The vegetables were very soft and they didn't have much flavor. Maybe it was just the brand that I got, I don't know. But nothing beats stir fry with fresh vegetables.

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