Vegetable stir-fry is a quick and easy Chinese dish. Stir-frying adds a whole new dimension to your plain vegetables, only if you do it right.

In this article, I want to explain how to prepare Chinese vegetable stir fry in detail.  Your lustrous, gorgeous vegetable stir fry with remarkable texture will knock your socks off. You will recognize immediately the ineffable taste that you are familiar with at the Chinese restaurant.

This step-by-step guide will show you all the nitty-gritty of how to prepare Chinese vegetable stir fry, and deal with the fundamental that goes to Chinese vegetables stir fry in particular.

So let’s dive right in.

Chinese vegetable stir fry recipe. Easy to prepare.

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Chinese vegetable stir fry-  How to prepare in five simple steps

I have divided this recipe into five steps:

Step 1: Prepping the vegetable
Step 2: Blanching the vegetables
Step 3: Prepping the sauce
Step 4: Saute the garlic
Step 5: Stir-fry the vegetables

Step 1: Prepping the vegetables

In this recipe, I am using five common vegetables to prepare the stir-fry- broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, snow peas and carrots.

Broccoli. Cut the stem off close to the head so that the forests will fall away as florets naturally. Discard the lower part of the stem which is usually hard and fibrous. Cut the more tender part of the stem into slices or wedges. This section is full of flavor, so I suggest you should not throw them away.

Cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower in half from the top of the crown through the stem. The large florets will naturally fall off from the core. You can use the tip of the knife to separate the large floret into bite-size. I prefer to have large florets as it looks better

Take a look at the surface of the cauliflower, if it develops some small black specks on the surface, remove it by using a vegetable peeler before cutting. It is easier to remove the black specs before cutting than after.

Snow peas. Remove the ‘string’ of the snow peas that is tough and fibrous. To do this, pinch the curly end of the snow pea, pull it along the pod al the way to the other end until it separates from the snow pea.

Carrots. Peel off the skin of the carrots. Cut the carrots into wedges by cutting it at an angle and turn it a quarter after each cut.

Capsicum. Cut the top and bottom away. Then you can remove the core and seeds quickly as it is still intact as one piece. Cut the capsicum into larges slices of triangular shape.

Chinese vegetable stir fry

Step 2: Blanching the vegetables

Blanching the vegetables before stir-frying serves two purposes:-

Shorten the time required for stir-frying.Since stir-frying is a quick process, the time involved is not enough to heat through some vegetables, for example, a wedge of carrot. Blanching is even more relevant when you want to ensure the bigger florets of cauliflowers and broccoli are cooked. Furthermore, prolonged frying will cause the vegetables became yellowish and lost the bright color. I regularly blanch them and only stir-fry the vegetables over high heat briefly.

Set aside for later use.  This method will destroy the enzymes which will discolor foods and cause them to deteriorate. By doing this, the color will maintain even though after a few hours.  You can also get this done a day before, and store them in the refrigerator until the following day.

Here are the steps:

  • Brings a pot of water to a boil.  The amount of water has to be at least three times the volume of the vegetables.
  • When the water is boiled, place the carrot wedges into the water.  Let them cooked for three minutes.
  • Once the carrot pieces are half cooked, add cauliflower and broccoli florets into the water.  Keep the water at a consistent boil for two minutes.
  • Add the snow peas and boil for a one minute. Use a fork to pierce into one of the broccoli florets.  The broccoli and cauliflowers are just done when the fork can slide in and out smoothly.  The snow peas should by now crisp and cooked.
  • Lastly, add the capsicums and just let it heat up in the water for fifteen seconds.
  • Drain with a wire mesh strainer or colander. Set aside for stir-frying.


Shock the vegetables if you intend to keep the vegetables for later use.  Otherwise, you may head straight to stir-frying after blanching.

Shocking means to throw the vegetables into an ice bath to halt the cooking process immediately.  This method stops the vegetables cooking from the inside, which results in a mushy and discolored product.

Here are the steps:

  • Prepare an ice bath (cold water with ice cubes).
  • Drain the vegetables after blanching.  Pour the vegetables into the ice bath immediately.  Make a few stirs to let the heat dissipate from the vegetables.
  • Let the vegetables cool down for a few minutes in the ice bath, to let the inner part cools completely.
  • Drain and store in the refrigerator.
Chinese vegetable stir fry

Step 3: Prepping the sauce

Prepping the stir-fry sauce is simple.  I recommend the following basic stir-fry sauce for this recipe.  You can make changes by adding soy sauce, sesame oil or change the amount of each ingredient.

2 teaspoons of salt
1.5 teaspoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoons of cornflour
A dash (about 1/8 teaspoon) of ground white pepper
4 tablespoons of water

Noted that I have included cornflour in the formula, which will thicken the sauce. Therefore you do not need to add ‘cornflour slurry’ anymore during stir-frying.

There is no time to waste during busy hours in the restaurant. Hence, we make a large batch of this sauce and store in the refrigerator.  You can adopt the same concept if you want to prepare a significant portion for your guests for parties by making it in advance.

How to stir-fry leafy vegetables

You do not need to blanch leafy vegetables such as bok choy or choy sum. They are thin and can cook through easily.

Cut the stem of bok choy and choy sum into thin slices. Stir-fry the vegetables with the sauteed garlic for a minute, then add a little water to cook the stems until they turn soft.  Once the stem becomes soft (you can pick one a tray), add the leaves and continue cooking until the leaves wilt.

Stir-fry choy sum or bok choy is the most common home-cooked dish for the Chinese. Simple, quick and delicious, all you need is just oil, garlic, salt, and the vegetables. Of course, you can use the same set of seasoning in this article to switch it up.

vegetable stir-fry in chaffing tray
Make a batch of vegetable stir-fry for buffet.

Step 4 (Final step): Stir-frying

You may have watched the Chinese restaurant chef stir-fry over a towering inferno, but in practice, this seems a distant dream to come through in the home kitchen.

I would very much suggest you purchase a high power wok burner.  It is not expensive and is invaluable for stir-frying and many other Asian cooking methods.  In the event this not possible, you can still produce an excellent dish by following these steps.

  • Heat up some vegetable oil in the wok (or saucepan).
  • Add a tablespoon of chopped garlic and saute over low heat until it turns aromatic.  Here you have two choices.  You can just stop short once the garlic becomes fragrant, or continue sauteing it until it turns golden brown (and crispy). If you want the garlic crispy, continue to stir and move the garlic around or else it will tend to stick to the wok and burn quickly.
  • Add the pre-mixed stir-fry sauce and continue the cooking process. The cornstarch is cooked when the sauce turns translucent.  You should take note of this as uncooked cornstarch taste awful.
  • After that, add all the drained vegetables to the wok.

I will only prepare Chinese vegetable stir fry over high heat if served immediately.

When I prepare it for a large party or buffet, I expect the guests will eat much later. The vegetables will turn yellowish and loss the bright, fresh look. You can adopt this method when Chinese cook vegetable stir fries at home.

Now there are two ways you can do

If you want to serve the Chinese vegetable stir fry immediately, crank up the heat and stir-fry over the highest flame you can muster.

Stir fry for a short moment (around half a minute) until you can smell the aroma that you are familiar with in the Chinese restaurant. We called it wok-hei, or means ‘the breath of wok’.

If you plan for a party, which you want the vegetables to stay fresh, just mix the vegetables with the sauce in the wok. You can leave the flame on but is over low heat. Once the vegetables are coated with the delicious and glossy sauce, remove it from the stove to prevent overheating. The garlic will provide a delightful flavor to the dish, albeit minus the signature aroma of wok-hei.

Dish out. Chinese vegetable stir fry is best to serve with rice or noodles, or just straight out from the wok.

Yield: 2 people

Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry

stir fry vegetable recipe

Chinese vegetable stir fry is a quick, easy and delicious recipe.  Take only 20 minutes to prepare, Best to serve with rice, noodles or just eat straight from the wok!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


Ingredients A (vegetables)

  • 100 g broccoli
  • 100 g cauliflower
  • 100 g carrot
  • 100 g snow peas
  • 100 g capsicums

Ingredients B (Seasonings)


Prepping the vegetables

  1. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into florets.
  2. Peel and cut the carrots into wedges.
  3. Remove the stings of the snow peas.
  4. Cut the capsicums into triangular pieces
  5. Blanch the vegetables. Drained and set aside.


  1. Heat up the vegetable oil in the wok.
  2. Saute the garlic until fragrant over low heat.
  3. Add the salt, sugar, ground white pepper, oyster sauce, cornflour and water. Cook until the sauce becomes translucent.
  4. Add the blanched vegetables. Stir-fried over high heat until it turns fragrant.
  5. Dish out and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1367mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 1/26/2019

    41 replies to "Vegetable stir fry – How to prepare in four easy steps"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply any questions and comments as soon as possible.

      • Latha S

        KP Kwan, you have explained it very clearly and nicely about how to stir fry vegetables. FYI, I do not use Oyster sauce. Any other replacement you can suggest me. Will it be fine for to use Soy sauce and Chilli sauce? Appreciate your comments.

        Thanks / Latha

        • KP Kwan

          Hi Latha,
          You can use chili sauce, omit oyster sauce, or add something else. What I emphasize here is a general principle, and you make the changes on your own.

          KP Kwan

          • Latha S

            KP Kwan, thank you so much for your swift response. It’s a great help and my daughter going to enjoy the stir fry today.

          • Latha.S

            KP Kwan, thank you so much for your swift update. I used soy sauce and it came out extremely well. My daughter ate and was praising for your guidance. Thank you so much for your detailed information along with the video. It is so much clear and the way you explain it is to the basic which people like me can understand. Have a great day.
            Regards / Latha

            • KP Kwan

              Hi Latha,
              Really happy to know that your family like how to stir-fry vegetable turns out.
              Have a great weekend.
              KP Kwan

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    • Ana

      Thank you because my madam and sir really like your recipe I cook..

    • Gloria Santos

      Thank you for the reply, another addititional for my cooking hobby

      • KP Kwan

        You are welcome 🙂

    • Gloria Agema

      This is absolutely useful. Thanks for this step by step process for stir frying vegetables particularly the blanching which is a total game changer for me. I will surely try this out.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Gloria,
        Thanks for your comment and hope you will enjoy the vegetable stir fry.
        KP Kwan

    • mobasir hassan

      you have explained everything in such a nice and simple way that really help me for making the recipe at home. we all enjoyed it. thank you.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Mobasir,
        Thank you so much for trying it and glad that you enjoyed it.
        KP Kwan

    • MarHaj

      This is the best stir fry I have ever made! One point though. The sauce ingredients are doubled in the body of the recipe description compared to the summary at the bottom. Either way, this came out far too salty the first time. I would cut the salt a least in half.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi MarHaj,
        Thanks for trying out the recipe.
        Please adjust the level of saltiness. Not everyone prefers the same level though 🙂
        Enjoy your stir fry vegetables.
        KP Kwan

    • Jane

      Hi Mr Kwan, thank you so much for your detailed explanations and instructions. Especially how to cook a yummy dish within a short time/prepare ahead of time. I am new to cooking. Plus I have 2 young kids. Being able to prepare most of the items ahead of time while they are in school, helped me to serve warm yummy dishes for dinner while still being able to take care of the kids when they are home from school. Your website is a life saver! Thank u! ❤️

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Jane,
        It is my pleasure to share. Some recipes can be complicated on my blog, but most of them are quite easy. I hope the text and video should have made it clear for you. If in doubt, I will try my best to help.
        KP Kwan

    • Medicaltipes.Com

      Best thing about this is the velveting method which I will definitely use regularly from now on-recipe really nice with loads more veggies ,garlic and soy sauce 🙂

    • Judy P Chiu

      I did the stir fry veggies with shrimps. It was a hit. Love the seasoning sauce. I did with
      snow peas with shrimps.. Marinate the shrimps with kosher salt, Chinese wine, & cornstarch.
      Came out very good. My husband loves it. Thanks .

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Judy,
        Thanks for trying the stir-fry vegetable and delighted to know that your family enjoys it.
        KP Kwan

    • APKun

      Love this. I’ve made it several times and it’s always delicious. Also use the velveting method now on most of my recipes.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi APKun
        Happy to know that the recipe works and you like it.
        KP Kwan

    • S

      Thank you for your clear detailed instructions! I would like to add chicken and a sweet onion!

    • Teoh Swee Chin

      Tried this recipe last night. We love it!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Teoh,
        I am so glad that it works and you like it.
        KP Kwan

    • Candy

      Thank you, Sir. Your method produced the best stir fried veggies I have ever made, and I have been cooking Chinese style dishes since early teens, long long time. Great tips, easy to follow instructions. Many thanks for sharing!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Candy,
        You are welcome. It is my pleasure to share.
        Best regards,
        KP Kwan

    • Nirmala

      Thank you very much for your recipe. We liked it and I certainly will repeat it now and then. 🙂
      Also found your notes on how to blanch, etc. useful.

      I reduced the salt by half and blanched the carrot for only 2 minutes before dropping in the brocolli.

      Thanks again for the great recipe with detailed notes.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Nirmala,
        Thank you for your comment and happy to hear that it is useful to you.
        Best regards,
        KP Kwan

    • Cathy

      Exquisite presentation! I have been cooking stir fry and your method has just clarified the doubts I had. Thanks you!

      • KP Kwan

        You are welcome!

    • Seth

      When blanching I’m confused by instructions. How long in total do the carrots boil? The vegetables are added in steps, and they all come out at the same time. Are the carrots in for three minutes total or more?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Seth,
        Below is my method:
        1. Add the carrot to the boiling water.
        2. After 2 minutes, add the broccoli and cauliflower.
        3. Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower for 3 minutes; add the snow peas and capsicum (bell pepper).
        4. Cook for one more minute. Transfer to cold water immediately.
        I hope this works well for you too.
        KP Kwan

    • M

      This recipe is amazing! Great instructions, everything is explained perfectly.

    • MY C

      Hi Kwan
      Thank you so much for your recipes!
      I have tried a few of your recipes: general tso chicken, lemon chicken, sesame chicken and also this one.
      They were yummy!

      Q: I am new to cooking. And find that I am spending so much time preparing the ingredients (and then cleaning up after cooking!).
      So thinking of preparing the sauce in a batch (as per your writeup).
      How long do you think it can last in the fridge?
      If I omit the cornstarch and only mix the salt, sugar, white pepper, oyster sauce and water, perhaps it would last longer in the fridge?

      Thank you!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi MY,
        Here is my method:
        1. Omit the cornstarch (as you mentioned)
        2. Make a large batch and let it cools.
        3. Fill the sauce in the freezer-safe small containers, one container for one portion.

        We keep it for at least one-two two months without any deterioration of the quality.
        KP Kwan

    • Michelle Issa

      Thank you so much for your detailed description and steps. For someone who has never made a chinese stir fry before you’ve given me the steps and knowledge and confidence to try myself! Thank you!

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