The humble stir-fry is one of my favourite all time meals. It’s super quick to make, with most dishes taking less than 15 minutes. It’s also super simple to make, with most recipes only requiring a small handful of ingredients. All of this makes stir fry meals perfect for busy, on-the-go runners that need some quick nutritious food. Here are two of my favourite stir fry recipes for you to try.
Top 2: Sweet and Sour
Sweet and sour is one of the best-known stir fry dishes around, with the term itself actually encompassing various different styles and flavours. Some research suggests that the original idea comes from Hunan province in China, where a light vinegar and sugar mix was used in recipes. Either way, the general idea of ‘sweet and sour’ has been used in England and across Europe since the middle ages.
For the ‘sweet and sour’ sauce:
- 425g(a 15oz can) of pineapple chunks in juice
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (dark tends to be better)
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (although malt will do in a pinch)
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup (You can use tomatoes but I find this much easier!)
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes (You can add a bit more if you like a hotter meal)
For the Main Protein Source:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 300-400g chopped pork steak or 400g Tofu or 1 Packet of Quorn chicken
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil (for the frying pan/wok)
Tasty optional extras for the pan/wok:
- 1 medium onion, cut into 12 wedges
- 2 peppers, any colour, cut into small pieces
- 225g (an 8oz can) of water chestnuts (these give a great crunch for texture)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 25g/1oz piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated (Make sure its finely grated, nobody wants to bite down into a big piece of ginger!)
- Ground black pepper for seasoning
Side Dish Options:
- Lots of rice (60-120 gram per person depending on size and how hungry they are!)
- Lots of noodles (judge it by size)
Although it looks like there’s quite a lot of ingredients this is actually a very simple job to make.
Step 1: Most rice takes 10-15 minutes to cook, so get yours chucked into a pan of boiling water right at the start.
Step 2: Combine all of the sweet and sour sauce ingredients into a big cup, jar or container of some sort. Give them a good stir.
*I tend to use about 150ml of the pineapple juice from the can, then add about 150ml water.
Step 3: Heat up the sunflower oil in the frying pan/wok and throw in your choice of protein. 2-3 minutes per side on a moderate-high heat is usually enough to cook any meat or substitute all the way through.
Step 4: Throw all optional extras like the pepper, water chestnuts etc into the pan.
Step 5: Pour sauce on top of everything in frying pan/wok, cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce turns glossy and thickens.
Step 6: Put rice on a plate, put empty frying pan/wok onto or next to rice. Enjoy!
Top 1: Chilli Salmon Teriyaki Noodles
Serves two, or one very hungry person, or one average person with leftovers for tomorrow.
Teriyaki actually refers to the Japanese method of cooking in which food is broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin and sugar. Since Japan has a large history of fishing, the main food used is often salmon, skipjack tuna, mackerel, trout or yellowtail, which are common in the area. Since we’ll be frying the salmon rather than grilling or broiling it this dish isn’t technically a teriyaki (as the phrase ‘yaki’ refers specifically to these cooking methods) it is however much quicker and easier whilst being just as tasty.
Ingredients (to mix and add first):
- 2 skinned and chopped salmon fillets (around 125g/4½ oz each)
- 1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (You can use chilli powder in a pinch)
- 1 tbsp mirin (available from pretty much every Asian food store or online)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
For the pan:
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
To add second:
- 1 small piece of ginger (like half the size of your thumb) very finely grated
- Half a pack of coriander, chopped
- 140g mangetout
- 2 tbsp Teriyaki sauce
- 300 grams of noodles (The straight-to-wok, easy cook kind!)
This recipe is even simpler than the first, which is great if you need a nutritious meal but don’t have the time, energy (or ability) to cook anything fancier!
Step 1: Mix the mirin, soy sauce and chilli and add to the salmon.
Step 2: Heat up vegetable oil in your frying pan/wok. Add your salmon mixture and fry for 1-2 minutes.
Step 3 Add everything else (noodles, teriyaki sauce, mangetout, coriander, ginger) to the pan and fry for a further 3-5 minutes.
Step 4: Serve up and enjoy!
There you go, two simple, quick and easy recipes that can be whipped up in as little as ten to fifteen minutes. Perfect for when you need a nice nutritious meal in a hurry, or for when you’ve just got back from a run and you’re super hungry! Plus, as you get more confident with the recipes you can try adding different ingredients to keep things interesting. You’ll also be happy to know that each meal includes a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and can fit easily into any healthy diet or nutrition plan.