Not everybody has access to fresh vegetables all the time. Even if you get fresh vegetables there are those times when you don't have time to cook them up before they go bad. Then when you are ready for that home cooked dinner you don't have anything so you either have to run to the store or find another way to get it done.
That is where frozen vegetables come in. They have come a long way over the years with the new steamers variety. Where you take the bag throw it in the microwave for 4-6 minutes and you are ready for some nice tender steamed vegetables. The other great thing is they are using relatively cheap.
So can you stir fry with frozen vegetables?
Yes you can stir fry with frozen vegetables. There are actually frozen vegetables in most grocery stores specifically for stir frying. You don't really need this the steamers will actually work just as good. However even throwing frozen vegetables directly into your wok or skillet will be sufficient.
You may want to drain the water before adding in the sauce and meats since there will more then likely be extra. Below we will show you some tips and tricks to make it the best you can. Also will hear from people that are experienced stir fry cookers.
Best Frozen Stir Fry From Experienced Cooks
Below are answers to your question on using frozen vegetables for stir fry. They have both negative and positive reviews on the experience. Take their tips and tricks to help you with your current situation. These answered were researched and taken from forums like Cooking Stack Exchange, Bodybuilding forum, and Discuss Cooking.
These answers go through the good and the bad on making frozen vegetables work.
- Milasavesmoney – You might try putting it in a colander set over a kitchen towel to thaw and drain. I think that might help.
Also use really high heat to stir fry, making sure your pan is very very hot before you put the oil in. Wait a few seconds to let the oil heat and add your veggies. (this you probably know)
- Suki1964 – Tbh I find frozen stir fry soggy and horrible. The veg have a high water content as it is, freezing then cooking ( defrosted or otherwise ) will always be soggy compared to fresh cooked. I always stir fry from fresh. Leeks are good to bulk out dearer veg, as is cabbage.
- NewShadow – With leftover stir fry (same soggy issue), I've dumped the whole lot in chicken stock with noodles and 5 spice to make a quick noodle soup. Not quite what you planned, but still tasty.
- DomRavioli – If it is soggy you likely overloaded the pan and reduced the heat of the pan too quickly by adding frozen food. Your pan has to literally be smoking hot and add the veg in small batches – if you put too much in the water cannot evaporate as you will have brought the temp down. If it is mixed veg in one bag, add around a handful at a time and batch cook it. When it is all cooked through you can add it back in, and also drain any water remaining.
- Rosie383 – As domravioli says exactly. I bought probably the same three bags as you the other day and doing as above and cooking on a high heat until the water has evaporated off gave a decent enough result when mixed with noodles.
You won't get nice crunchy al dente veg though.
- Easy Gainer – I make stir fry all the time with frozen veg. The trick is to pre heat a non stick pan on high heat. Add your oil and frozen veg. Do not crowd the pan and keep it on high till the veg is not frozen anymore. Turn heat down to med high and continue to cook veg till done and then remove veg from pan. Now add the chiken to the pan and cook till allmost done. Add back in your veg and stir fry sauce and cook till chicken is done and sauce is combined.
- GH_Gut – I did it last night…worked out fine. I don't use oil though, use PAM.
- Ripped_Holla – I do it all the time; in fact, I'm about to go do it. Usually I get a big frying pan and drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil. Then I dump in the veggies and let them saute. Cook up the meat in another pan and add it after it's cooked. I've never had it turn out bad…
- Jules_d1 – you gotta cook them fast…High heat, get em in and get em out. If you cook them for too long their going to go soggy
- Mike.Gayner – All vegetables are made up primarily of water, so it stands to reason that frozen vegetables will be no different. You shouldn't thaw frozen vegetables before cooking
Can You Use Frozen Vegetables In Stir Fry?
Yes you can use frozen vegetables. The best way to use them is to make sure you do what it says on the package. If it says to cook from frozen then do so or if it says to defrost then cook do that. Steamer bags steam them then fry them up in the wok or skillet.
How Do You Pan Fry Frozen Vegetables?
You pan fry frozen vegetables by throwing them usually straight onto a skillet or woke with extremely high heat. You want to use an Olive oil first while pre heating the pan. You can also use a skillet.
Can You Cook Frozen Veggies In A Wok?
Yes you can cook frozen veggies in a wok. First off do what is says on the packaging first. Most you can cook right from frozen just throw them right on the wok after you have heated it up with olive oil. Now make sure you have it on very high heat. You need to cook the veggies asap so they don't get soggy.
Should You Thaw Frozen Vegetables Before Cooking?
With most frozen veggies you do not need to thaw before cooking. The reason for this is they will get soggy from the water. If you cook on high heat the water will defrost. Now if the package says to thaw then yes do thaw first.
Cooking stir fry with frozen veggies can be a great and convenient thing. As you can see from some of the answers from others it can be trial and error a bit to get the feel down.
Most vegetables you can throw right on your wok just make sure you have it high heat with the olive oil on there ready to go. The less time you cook the better as there will be less water and less soggy.