How to Make an Easy Stir-Fry Recipe

This easy stir-fry recipe is ideal for quick and easy weeknight dinners. Once you master the basic formula, you can make endless variations!

Looking for a quick, healthy recipe you can make with …pretty much whatever’s in your fridge? Then stir-fry is the meal for you! Every stir-fry recipe starts with a basic formula: veggies + protein + sauce + a base. From that simple formula, you can make virtually a brand-new stir-fry, every time.

Easy Stir-Fry Recipe

This is one of our favorite recipes sent in by Jackie Hannahs of Cedar Springs, Michigan. Her family loves the citrus glaze that coats the tender pork and vegetables. Later, we’ll share ideas for making a stir-fry your own, including ideas for variations.

Ginger Pork Stir-Fry; overhead camera angle; mottled grey Russian surface; Grey linen cloth; grey folded napkin; salad serving forks; Grey plate stack; green onions; sesame seeds; snow peas; sweet red pepper; white riceTaste of Home


For the stir-fry sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

For the dish

  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or other flavorless oil that can handle high heat, like peanut)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/4 pound fresh snow peas
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, julienned
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Optional: Chopped green onion and sesame seeds


Step 1: Make the stir-fry sauce

Your sauce melds together all the different flavors and textures of the protein and vegetables in the stir-fry. For this recipe, the sauce is sweet and tangy.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic and ginger until smooth; set aside.

Step 2: Sear the meat

The meat or protein cooks first, seasoning the fat in the skillet. In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry pork in oil until lightly browned, 5 minutes; drain.

Step 3: Toss in the vegetables

Whatever veggies you’re using go in next. Whatever you’re using, make sure to cut everything to the same size.

Here, add the onion, peas and red pepper; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes.

Step 4: Add the sauce

Cooking the sauce for a few minutes allows it to thicken up. Stir orange juice mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Here’s the difference between tamari and soy sauce.

Step 5: Serve with a carb of your choice

Stir-fries are so full of flavor, they’re usually served on top of a plain base, which absorbs flavor from the sauce. We like to serve this with rice, rice noodles, zoodles or steamed vegetables.

Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.

Is Stir-Fry Healthy?

In general, stir-fry is healthy, since the speedy, high heat cooking doesn’t require much oil or fat. Plus, most stir-fries rely on lean meat or proteins, like chicken, tofu or lean steak. To make it even healthier, use a whole grain or vegetable base rather than white rice.

Nutrition Facts: In one serving: 228 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 508mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 25g protein.

How Make This Stir-Fry Your Own

Choose a Mix of Ingredients

Sauce and Aromatics: Ginger, garlic and onion are classics with stir-fry.

Protein: If using meat or poultry, choose a lean cut. Think chicken breast, pork tenderloin or strip steak. Tofu is a delicious vegetarian option. Fish, like shrimp are tasty.

Vegetables: Just about any vegetable is good in a stir-fry. Generally, we like to choose a mix of colors and textures. The trick? Cut everything up to the same size, which makes it cook evenly. Think snow peas, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, carrots and even tomatoes. You can always use a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables.

Grain or Other Base: Rice, brown or white, is a classic base. (Here’s how to cook rice.) Noodles, from glass noodles to ramen, are good. You can also try a carb-free option, like steamed edamame, cauliflower or zoodles.

Try Variations on the Basic Recipe

  • Try chicken stir-fry with teriyaki sauce, a take-out classic
  • Toss in cashews along with vegetables for a speedy vegetarian option
  • Make a pescatarian stir-fry with shrimp and a dash of lime
Find More Stir-Fry Recipes
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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.