Healthy meals don’t have to be challenging to make. Try this healthy recipe for veggie stir fry. So good you won’t miss the meat!
This vegetable stir fry is made with meaty mushrooms, crunchy carrots, bell peppers, bright green broccoli, onions, and sugar snap peas stir-fried in a delicious teriyaki sauce. The vegetables are tossed with toasted sesame seeds and egg-fried rice for extra protein.
Veggie stir fry bursts with lots of fresh vegetables and come together in less than an hour, which means it’s a perfect Meatless Monday recipe.
It is so easy and fresh! So good you’ll never miss the meat.
What is Stir Fry?
Stir-frying is a Chinese cooking technique in which protein, vegetables, aromatics, and sauce are fried in a wok over very high heat with a small amount of oil. Cooking over high heat helps maintain the vegetables’ flavors, color, and texture.
What’s in Vegetable Stir Fry?
- Oil: butter and toasted sesame oil to add flavor. Yes, use butter! It tastes so good and helps to brown up everything beautifully.
- Vegetables: onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrot, broccoli florets, snow peas. Any vegetable you desire.
- Sauce: The teryaki sauce is very simple to use, but if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand you could use any other type of stir fry sauce you like.
- Garnish: Sesame seeds, green onions, cilantro, hot sauce.
Rice is the obvious side dish to stir fry, but you don’t have to. You can also use brown rice, or for more protein, use quinoa or Asian noodles instead.
For the rice, you have two options.
Option #1: At least one day before you plan to make the stir fry, place the rice in a sieve and rinse until the water is no longer cloudy and runs clear. Place the rinsed rice in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, and simmer until the water has cooked down to the level of the rice. Stir well with a spoon. Cover, and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender—fluff with a fork.
Allow the rice to cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, place it in a container with a lid and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Option #2: I usually take a shortcut and use Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice instead of making it myself. It may not be the Asian thing to do, but using prepared rice saves time. Besides, I’m not Asian anyway.
Scrambled eggs are added for extra protein but are totally optional.
How to Make Veggie Stir Fry
1. Selecting the Ingredients
There are three main components to stir fry:
- Proteins: Vegetarian proteins like tofu, tempeh, quinoa, beans, nuts, seeds. Meats such as chicken, beef and shrimp.
- Vegetables: any vegetable you desire.
- Aromatics: garlic, fresh ginger, spices, hot sauces, stir fry sauces.
2. Prep the Ingredients Before Cooking
When making stir fry, it’s essential to make sure you have all of the ingredients prepped, chopped, and ready to go before turning on the stove. Stir-fries cook quickly, and this way, you won’t overcook one vegetable while preparing another.
Since all of the ingredients need to be prepared ahead of time, this stir fry is ideal for meal prep which can save you time and effort during the week when you may be pushed for time. You can prep the veggies up to 3-5 days in advance.
When chopping vegetables, make sure they are cut small and uniform in size so that they cook quickly and simultaneously.
3. Make the Stir Fry Sauce
Whether you use the teriyaki sauce or traditional Chinese stir fry sauce for this recipe, make sure it is ready before you start cooking so you can add it in at the right time when making the stir fry.
4. Stir Fry
- High Heat: is very important when making stir fry. Make sure the wok or skillet is really hot so the vegetables will take on more flavor.
- Order: Always begin the stir fry with the vegetables that take the longest to cook first.
- Keep the ingredients moving: Stir your ingredients continually in the pan with a wooden spatula.
- Cook proteins and vegetables separately: proteins and vegetables have different cook times. Start with the proteins first, remove it from the pan and then add it back in at the end to warm through.
- Add aromatics towards the end: When the vegetables are about done, add in any aromatics. This will ensure they will be bright and fresh and not fade with the heat of the wok.
5. Fry the Rice and the Egg
Add butter and sauce to the wok with the rice. Break up any clumps of the cold rice with the back of a spoon. Stir the rice constantly. Do not let the rice stay in contact with the bottom of the pan or wok for too long.
Fry the rice until it becomes golden brown, then add the egg and scramble in the wok.
6. Don’t Forget to Garnish!
Not only do garnishes add flavor and texture, but they also make the dish look even more appetizing. I use toasted sesame seeds for this recipe, but you could also garnish this stir fry with toasted nut, chopped green onions, cilantro, or drizzle on some hot sauce if you like spicy food.
How to Toast Sesame Seeds:
Add the sesame seeds to a dry skillet (no oil) over medium-high heat. Toast the seeds frequently tossing until fragrant and turn light golden brown for about 2-3 minutes.
Do not leave them in the pan, or they will burn.
Do I Need a Wok to Make Stir Fry?
Although a wok is nice to have, you don’t have to have one to make this stir fry. Use a large skillet instead.
Is Stir Fry Healthy?
Making stir fry at home can be a lot healthier than what you get at your favorite take-out or delivery joint because you control the ingredients. You take total control of the sodium and sugar.
The tender-crisp vegetables retain more nutrients than if they were boiled. And the fat content is considerably low because stir-frying requires very little oil.
Tips For Making Stir Fry
- Size Matters: The stir fry comes together very quickly. It is important to have all of the vegetables chopped and the ingredients ready to go before beginning to make the stir fry.
- Meal Prep: Save time prep and cut the vegetables ahead of time.
- High Heat: Make sure the wok or skillet is really hot. The vegetables will take on more flavor.
- Keep the ingredients moving. Stir your ingredients continually in the pan with a wooden spatula.
- Thicker Sauce: If you perfer a thicker sauce, use a cornstarch slurry to help thicken the sauce. A cornstarch slurry of equal parts cold water and cornstarch. Make sure to use cold water when mixing the slurry so there will not be any powdery clumps in your stir fry.
- Soy Sauce: If the rice seems dry, you can add a few extra splashes of soy sauce. Also, feel free to add more soy sauce at the end to add more flavor especially when frying the rice. Use low-sodium soy sauce so you don’t have to worry about the stir fry becoming too salty.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat remove from the fridge and microwave or warm in a skillet over medium heat.
Making a veggie stir fry from scratch is simple and so worth making yourself. It’ll quickly become your go-to Meatless Monday recipe!
If it does, please let us know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! Your feedback keeps us going, and we are always interested to hear what you think about our recipes.
See ya on the mountain!
Veggie Stir Fry
The Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ⅛ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 medium carrot cut into match sticks
- 1 medium head broccoli cut into florets, stems discarded
- 1 cup prepared teriyaki sauce recipe to follow
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
- 2 cups prepared steamed rice
- 2 eggs optional
- 8 ounces snap peas
Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
The Teriyaki Sauce
- Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved; set aside.
The Stir Fry
- In a wok or a very large nonstick skillet, heat the sesame oil and melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat, while stirring constantly.
- Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent and have started to wilt, stirring constantly. Then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Successively, add the carrots and red bell pepper, cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring and tossing constantly.
- Add in the broccoli. Stir teriyaki sauce well and pour in ½ of it into the veggies. Cook until broccoli is tender, but still bright green; about 2 more minutes.
- Remove vegetables from heat and set aside in a warm place.
- Place a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toast sesame seeds until they are a light golden brown. Toss the seeds onto the veggies when browned. Do not leave in the pan or they will burn.
- Return the wok or skillet to the stove and turn the heat up to high. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted and starts to foam, add in rice and remaining teriyaki sauce.
- Toss the rice and stir constantly. Break up any clumps of the cold rice with the back of a spoon.
- Stir the rice constantly and do not let the rice stay in contact with the bottom of the pan or wok for too long. If the rice seems dry, you can add a few extra splashes of soy sauce.
- When the fried rice has become golden brown, turn down the heat to medium and push the rice over to one side of the pan or wok; crack open two eggs and scramble them in the pan with the rice.
- Once the eggs have cooked, about one minute, stir the egg into the rice and toss to incorporate.
- Add the sugar snap peas and toss to warm through; about one to two minutes.
- Add the veggies back to the wok or pan. Stir or toss until the veggies and rice are well mixed.
- Serve immediately.
Updated January 2022. Veggie Stir Fry was originally published on November 17th of 2014.