how (not) to make stir fry

Three nights ago Eric and I started experimenting with our wok, since it’s been sitting in our cabinet for several months now.  The result was some pretty amazing Pad Thai.

We attempted to recreate it last night, with the addition of tofu to replace some of the shrimp we used the first time.  That was a HUGE mistake.  It was fine at first:

it all looks fine here…

…but then the tofu started to disintegrate into thousands of tiny gritty pieces that made the texture all wrong.  All wrong.

So I want to share our successful (first) recipe with you.  So that you don’t end up with this:

mmhmm. not ok.


You will need:

  • Rice noodles, any size (we bought ours at the Asian Market, but I think regular grocery stores sell rice noodles as well)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Some kind of meat (unless you are a vegetarian, and ONLY USE TOFU IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES)
  • Garlic (not necessary, but we add it to everything and it adds just a bit of flavor to this dish)
  • One egg
  • Pad Thai Stir Fry sauce (also from the Asian Market)
  • Any veggies that you want—we added zucchini (sliced long and thin), carrots (also long and thin), bean sprouts, and cabbage (could use Bok Choy instead)


  1. Put your uncooked rice noodles in a bowl and submerge them in already boiling-hot water.  Let them sit for at least ten minutes.
  2. Cut up all your veggies—if you are a super-efficient chopper, it will take you the ten minutes your noodles are cooking.  If you are like me and have a fear of chopping your fingers off, you probably want to start your veggies ahead of time.
  3. When your noodles are cooked, drain and rinse them with cold water.
  4. Once all your veggies are prepared and your noodles are done, make sure your meat is ready to go in.  Things to fast from here.
  5. Add about 1/4 cup of veggie oil to your wok (or any giant pan of your choice).
  6. Add your meat and let it cook.
  7. Once the meat is cooked, add the egg and stir it all up.
  8. Once the egg is cooked, add the sauce (the amount of sauce you use is up to you.  I dumped about 3/4 cup in and then added more later to cover all the noodles and veggies.)
  9. Add the noodlesKeep stirring as much as you can the whole time from here on out.
  10. If things get sticky (the noodles tend to make this happen) add a TINY bit of water.  Too much water will make your noodles soggy (yuck).
  11. Add veggies all at once.  At this point you can add more sauce if you deem it necessary to your desired proportions.
  12. Stir stir stir until it’s all mixed and hot.

I ate mine with Sriracha sauce and it was the perfect blend of flavors.  Let me know how it goes!


Image from here.

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