Simple Veggie Stir Fry Recipe

Stir and fry, two things I love to do in the kitchen. Put them together and you have enough combinations to rival Bubba’s shrimp list from Forrest Gump. Today we’re doing Veggie Stir Fry, but there’s Shrimp Stir Fry, Beef Stir Fry, Pork Stir Fry, Stir Fry Noodles, Stir Fry Tofu, really so many sweet and savory and spicy combinations.

But what is the difference between a good stir-fry and a WTF did you do to this stir-fry? It’s a question of the order in which the ingredients were added into the wok, or stir-fry pan. Meat, always first and sauce always last and in between you have to respect the order in which each vegetable takes to cook, properly. So you get maximum nutrients and texture, and not just a salty mushy forkful of what used to be perfectly brilliant veggies.

Just like you wouldn’t expect all men or women to warm up with the same foreplay or in the same time, harder vegetables like broccoli and carrots take longer to cook than let’s say mushroom and scallion. If you don’t respect the order, then you get undercooked and overcooked everything. And no texture in your mouth.

I’m glad I got that out. And medium flame, all the way, or your vegetables will think it is in a sauna and not in a wok where they belong. It’s Goldiflames, where the flame too low will make your vegetables shrivel in it’s own pool of veggie sweat and flame too high will burn their pour souls. You don’t want to hurt vegetables do you?

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Simple Veggie Stir Fry Recipe (Vegetables in clockwise cooking order starting  at 12 o’clock)



½ pound broccoli (trimmed and a little bigger than bite-sized rounds)

1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)

½ an onion (thinly sliced)

1 clove garlic (thinly sliced)

1 stalk scallion (thinly chopped), to throw on top at the end

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce OR Teriyaki, fish sauce, etc.

1 teaspoon sugar


~ I personally swear by Oyster Sauce It’s what my mother used growing up. Not strong at all but adds some fullness to everything, brings it together. Unless you have a seafood allergy, then it’s a no-no.

Oyster Sauce

~ And If you’re new to scallion there’s an easy prep step, in this Home Alone Udon Noodle Soup recipe.

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1. Preheat your wok or stir-fry pan over a medium flame, erring on the side of high just to be safe. When it’s hot, add your oil. Heat the oil.

2. Toss in your broccoli and stir every other minute for three minutes, cooking as evenly as you can.


3. Add your sliced peppers and cook for two minutes, stirring once.


~ If you are comfortable with tossing your veggies in your wok with a few strong flicks of the wrist, go ahead. I believe that works best for even cooking, but a good long wooden spoon or a pair of wooden chopsticks work too. Be kind to your pans, and also try not to bruise the vegetables during stir fry.

4. Add your onions, and stir fry until the onions start looking translucent.


5. This is where you’re going to add your sauce. Whatever sauce it is that you decide to use. In this recipe it’s a combination of the soy sauce and oyster sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. But whatever you have handy that is stir-fry worthy works too.

6. Leave the veggies and sauces on the flame for a few minutes, until you are ready to get them in your mouth, and serve.

~ On this particular evening, I actually went with a Thai red curry sauce with catfish prepared in a skillet, with white rice. But you really can go a lot of places with this very Simple Veggie Stir Fry Recipe. Just respect the order of the vegetables you are using, whether it’s three or six, and you’ll be fine!



Always dishing,







  1. Phyllis

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I’ve never gotten the veggie consistency correct & now I KNOW WHY!! I love to cook-I always say there is no restaurant that tastes as good as what I can make at home. We rarely eat out & if we do, it’s for convenience, not flavor.

  2. Jun you know my cooking struggles but this is actually one thing I know about. The Veggie order. I have not stir fried for awhile because I am so paranoid about chicken contamination. I like to use a partially frozen breast because it’s easier to slice thinly. I just do not know how long it takes to cook safely and not dry out. Any tips would be appreciated.

    1. Jun Song Author

      I usually follow the rule of waiting until I see less “pink” in the pan…aka more “white” indicating the chicken is cooked. If you see there are only a few pieces here and there that remain undercooked, it’s safe to add your veggies at that point (it’s just raw chicken you should be careful about) 🙂

  3. By the way. This chicken issue of cooking time is also a problem when cooking the breasts in the oven. Is there a certain way I can cook chicken breasts so they are tender and juicy for shredding and adding to dishes? Chicken is my favorite meat but ever since PBS had a special on chicken and salmanilla I have overcooked it. Mine use to really good. Thanks!

    1. Jun Song Author

      Chicken in the oven should be covered for the first half of cooking, this will prevent the breasts from drying out. Or you could always boil it with some slices of ginger?

  4. Trina Young

    Thank you so much. Used broccoli for the first time ever and low and behold it was the last thing I added. Took them out just now to cook alone. Will add them back. Just in time!


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