Looking for a fun, fast way to get nutritious meals on the table? A wok is an excellent solution to the weeknight dinner dilemma. Use this kitchen workhorse to whip up quick and flavorful stir-fries that add excitement to your dinner table and make the most of inexpensive ingredients such as leftover cooked rice, frozen vegetables, and pantry pasta. We've rounded up the best recipes to help you "wok" your way to easy and delicious dinners, including kid-friendly stir-fries, copycat Chinese take-out dishes, and vegan and vegetarian fry-ups with global flavors.
What If You Don't Own a Wok?
If your kitchen lacks a traditional wok, don't fret! A large cast iron pan, which works extremely well to conduct high heat, is an excellent vessel for stir-frying and can be used for all the recipes below. You could also use any sturdy, non-stick skillet that is rated for high-heat cooking.
What Oil Should You Use and When Should You Add It?
Wok cooking (or stir-frying in a cast iron pan) requires heating your cooking oil to very high temperatures in order to cook the ingredients quickly. For that reason, you will need to use a type of oil that is approved for cooking over high heat. Oils in this category include refined avocado oil, almond oil, corn oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil.
Always preheat your pan before adding oil—you'll know it is hot enough when a bead of water evaporates on the surface of the pan within seconds. Drizzle in the oil, swirling the pan to coat the entire surface, and let it come to a shimmering heat before adding in foods.
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Shanghai noodles featuring thinly-sliced chicken, cabbage, onion, garlic, and a mouth-watering sauce are quick and easy to cook at home, making them ideal for busy weeknights. Your family will come running to the table for this popular Chinese take-out dish. If you can't find packaged fresh Shanghai noodles, you can swap in Japanese udon noodles, or long, wide linguini.
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Transform inexpensive ingredients into a tasty, low-fat, one-dish dinner that goes from pan to table in just 30 minutes. This easy weeknight stir-fry is a great way to use up ground meat from the freezer when you are tired of turkey burgers and is loaded with good nutrition from healthy broccoli and bell pepper. Feel free to add any other colorful veggies hanging out in the crisper or freezer.
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There is nothing quite like the savory fragrance of mushrooms, bok choy, and minced garlic cloves frying in a hot pan. Whip up this stir-fry for a scrumptious vegan and vegetarian dinner, heaping it over fluffy steamed rice. If you're gluten-free, simply use a gluten-free vegetable broth and substitute tamari for the soy sauce.
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Make family mealtime simple with this quick, fresh, and delicious shrimp and greens stir-fry that you can assemble quickly and cook in just six minutes. Kids especially love the sweet taste of plump, pink shrimp, and the light and tangy sauce is a great way to trick them into scarfing up greens. Serve it over rice, multiplying the recipe as needed to feed more hungry eaters.Continue to 5 of 17 below.
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You may not think of tomatoes when it comes to Asian-style fried rice, but the sweet and tangy fruit adds something special to this simple weeknight dish with scallions, egg, soy sauce, and sesame oil for flavoring. It's a tasty way to use up leftover cooked rice from the fridge, and makes a great vegetarian lunch or dinner you can assemble in 20 minutes.
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Beef and broccoli stir-fry coated in a savory sauce is a classic Chinese-American dish. It is filling, full of flavor, and packed with good nutrition from lean protein and veggies, making it a deeply satisfying dinner that everyone in the family will devour. Prep the ingredients the night before and cook them up in a flash on the stove-top for an easy weeknight meal.
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If you have never tried bitter melon, this scrumptious Asian stir-fry is a yummy introduction to this nutrient-rich vegetable which is believed to aid digestion. It brings great balance to a savory, slightly spicy Southeast Asian-style stir-fry with pork, shallots, ginger, garlic, and fermented black beans.
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Drunken fish gets its cheeky name from the fact that in Thailand, where this famously spicy food stall dish originated, it is often enjoyed with a cold beer to tame its heat. Our Thai-style recipe for two lets you try the street food favorite stir-fry at home.Continue to 9 of 17 below.
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Takeout-style chicken lo mein with thin, chewy noodles, mushrooms, carrots, and a tangy Asian-style sauce is something the whole family will love. It takes under half an hour to make from start to finish, allowing you more time to get everything done on busy school nights. Feel free to use spaghetti in a pinch, boiling and draining the noodles before adding them to the pan.
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Peanut butter-loving kids and adults alike will swoon over this nutty-tasting, vegan tofu stir-fry. It is delicious, colorful, and full of crunch and flavor from tender tofu cubes, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, and bell pepper. Serve it over hot cooked rice or noodles for a healthy dinner.
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Aromatic and flavorful, with terrific smoky and garlicky tastes, this simple eggplant stir-fry is a vegan delight. Use any type of eggplant that looks good at the market for this vegan dish that tastes so earthy and savory, you won't miss the meat. Go ahead and leave out the chiles, if you don't like spice.Continue to 13 of 17 below.
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Tropical pineapple adds pizazz to an easy, 30-minute chicken stir-fry. Sweet, savory, fresh, and fruity all at once, it is sure to become one of your regulars. It is a cinch to assemble with common pantry and fridge ingredients, comes together in no time, and makes a complete family meal in one pan.
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Once you experience how quick and easy it is to make chicken fried rice at home, you may never want to order delivery again. Fluffy, family-approved fried rice with morsels of tender chicken, chopped vegetables, and a drizzling of soy sauce always makes a welcome, one-bowl meal at lunch or dinner. Feel free to tweak it with whatever veggies you have on hand in the fridge or freezer.
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This classic beef and vegetable stir-fry offers tons of texture and flavor to keep your family excited about mealtime. Thinly-sliced, marinated flank steak is flash-fried in a sizzling pan with green bok choy, umami-rich mushrooms, and bright red onion and coated in a simple stir-fry sauce.
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With Swiss chard, tofu, mushrooms, and a bit of soy sauce or tamari, this healthy and super-delicious vegan and vegetarian stir-fry is a great example of how to elevate humble ingredients. Serve it with rice, and perhaps a side of miso soup, for a complete, filling meatless meal.Continue to 17 of 17 below.
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With its deep, sweet taste when cooked, Chinese celery packs a punch of flavor that will surprise you if you've only tried American supermarket celery. It takes just minutes to stir-fry to perfection with this go-to side dish recipe which includes a simple, fragrant, and slightly spicy sauce.