What Are the Best Tips for Making Seafood Stir Fry?

Christina Edwards

Preparing stir fry ingredients prior to cooking and having the right equipment can make cooking seafood stir fry easy and quick. These ingredients should also be cooked in a particular order. Typically, the seafood is cooked first, and the vegetables should be cooked last. High heat is needed when making these types of seafood meals, but this temperature can be adjusted if necessary.

A frying pan, which can be used to make seafood stir-fry.
A frying pan, which can be used to make seafood stir-fry.

Preparation and organization are often essential when making seafood stir fry, or any type of stir fry. All ingredients should be gathered first. Then they should be chopped into bite-sized pieces and separated. If possible, all of these pieces should be roughly the same size.

Abalone meat should be tenderized before it's included in a seafood stir fry.
Abalone meat should be tenderized before it's included in a seafood stir fry.

The right equipment should also be used when making a seafood stir fry. A wok, which is a large pan with a curved base, is typically used. If a wok is not available, a large, deep frying pan can also be used.

Sea food may be added to the Chinese-American stir fry dish, chop suey.
Sea food may be added to the Chinese-American stir fry dish, chop suey.

Cooks can add all various ingredients to a seafood stir fry. Shrimp or crab can be used for the meat, for example. Shrimp should be deveined, however, prior to cooking.

Peanut oil has a high smoking point and neutral taste ideal for any seafood stir-fry.
Peanut oil has a high smoking point and neutral taste ideal for any seafood stir-fry.

Several types of vegetables can be used in a seafood stir fry. Asparagus, broccoli, onions, snap peas, and carrots are popular stir fry ingredients, for example. Mushrooms and squash can also be used. Generally, there more vegetables than seafood. Using only three or four vegetables can make this dish a little easier to prepare.

Broccoli is a popular ingredient in seafood stir-fry.
Broccoli is a popular ingredient in seafood stir-fry.

To begin stir frying, the pan should be preheated on medium-high heat. A small amount of oil can then be drizzled in the pan. For added taste, minced garlic can be sauteed after the oil heats up. Using olive oil in a stir fry is usually not recommended, though, since this type of cooking oil can start to smoke at high temperatures.

If rice is to be served with the stir fry, it should be started first, so it will be ready around the same time as the other ingredients. The seafood should then be added to the hot oiled pan in a single layer. When making a seafood stir fry, it is important to not overcrowd the pan.

The seafood should be allowed to sit on the bottom of the pan for a few moments before stirring. This will ensure that it gets properly browned. Just before the seafood is completely done, it can be removed from the pan and set aside.

Vegetables for a seafood stir fry should then be cooked next. As soon as they are added to the pan, they should be stirred. Most culinary experts also recommend cooking the heaviest vegetables, like broccoli and carrots, first. To make things even easier, these should be cooked one at a time.

All of the ingredients should then be added to the pan to cook for a few more moments. A mixture of soy sauce, cornstarch, and cold water can also be added to make a sauce. To prevent uneven heating or burning, this mixture should be stirred or flipped constantly. The seafood stir fry should then be served immediately.

Shrimp should be deveined before cooking.
Shrimp should be deveined before cooking.

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Discussion Comments

Lostnfound

The nice thing about using seafood is you don't have to velvet it like you do chicken. In a chicken stir fry, it's always best to coat the chicken pieces lightly in corn starch before cooking them. You don't do that with shrimp, although you should peel and devein it, if that hasn't already been done for you. That gut vein doesn't taste good if you happen to bite down on it. Plus, it's gritty. Yuck.

I like to season my seafood with Old Bay or something similar before stir frying it. It seems to enhance the flavor. I don't use a lot, but a little makes it all taste better.

Grivusangel

Don't cook the seafood too long is one of the main rules. Shrimp will get rubbery if you cook it too long.

When I do a seafood stir fry, I cook the meat first, just until it's not quite done. Then I remove it and cook the vegetables until they're tender-crisp. Then I add the meat back in, along with the sauce. That way, the seafood is cooked completely through, but doesn't get tough. Some people don't think about doing it that way, but a Chinese lady taught me to do that years ago, and it works every time.

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