Basic Marinade for Stir-Fried Meats Recipe

Whether it’s chicken, pork, or beef, this marinade is my go-to recipe when I want to cook a quick stir-fry dinner. [Photographs: Shao Z]

Whether it’s chicken, pork, or beef, this marinade is my go-to recipe when I want to cook a quick stir-fry dinner. It takes 30 minutes to marinate and another 10 to 15 minutes to stir-fry everything.

Why this recipe works:

  • Salt and soy sauce tenderize meat, help it retain moisture, and increase its savoriness.
  • Sugar helps browning characteristics.
  • Oil helps distribute fat-soluble aromatic compounds over the meat.
  • Cornstarch insulates the meat form the high heat of a hot wok, ensuring that it doesn’t overcook along its edges.
  • Aromatics like pepper and wine add a nice basic flavor to meat that pairs well with other ingredients.
  • Here are a few meat and vegetable pairings to get you started:

    • Easy Stir-Fried Beef With Mushrooms and Butter
    • Easy Stir-Fried Pork With String Beans
    • Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions

    Basic Stir-Fry Marinade 1/2 pound chicken, pork, or beef1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon sugar1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine1/2 teaspoon soy sauce1 teaspoon oil1/2 teaspoon cornstarch In a large bowl, add ingredients in the order they are listed. Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

  • Yield:Makes marinade for 1/2 pound sliced beef, pork, or chicken
  • Active time:1 minute
  • Total time:30 minutes
  • Ingredients

    • 1/2 pound sliced or diced chicken, pork, or beef
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
    • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

    Directions

    1. 1.

      Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with hands to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.

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