And in the latest segment of the "Five-Minute Cooking School," chef Tori Ritchie
The Early Show teams with specialty home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma as it brings you the "Five-Minute Cooking School" series. Segments originate at Williams-Sonoma's flagship store at Columbus Circle in New York City.
Ritchie is a San Francisco-based food writer and cooking teacher, and host of the long-running "Ultimate Kitchens" on the Food Network. Her latest cookbook is "Party Appetizers: Small Bites, Big Flavors" (Chronicle Books, Fall 2004).
Stir-frying is an Asian cooking technique of quickly frying small pieces of food over high heat. The result is a low-fat dish packed with flavor. Ritchie believes stir-frying is great for everyday cooking or for entertaining, because all the preparation has to be done ahead of time, and the time spent actually cooking is quite short.
Stir-fried meals are best served to four to six people; they aren't ideal for large groups.
The first key to a good stir-fry is using the right pan. Traditional woks are an ideal choice. They sit on a metal ring, which is placed over a stove burner. They have a flared edge, which gives you a lot of room in the pan; you can spread out the food, which enables it to cook evenly. The flared edge also helps prevent food and oil from flying out of the pan when you're tossing ingredients.