5 tips to make a delicious healthy stir fry

Chicken Basil Stir Fry recipe

Aren’t all stir fries healthy? No… watch me give the humble stir fry a healthy makeover.

One of the meals people automatically think is healthy is a stir fry. And for the most part, they’re right. However, there are a few things that can turn a meal that’s rich in colourful vegetables and lean protein into an unhealthy or tasteless option. Let’s look at 5 simple tips to ensure you avoid the pitfalls and cook a delicious healthy stir fry every time.

5 tips to make a delicious healthy stir fry

1. DON’T cook with oil – it just adds unnecessary fats

Use a good quality non-stick fry pan or wok and give it a quick spray with cooking spray.  You can also add a dash of water and cover with a lid to steam the veggies.


2. DON’T overcrowd your stir fry – adding too many vegetables makes it hard to taste the different flavours

Include 5 vegetables at the most in your next stir fry. Try to mix up colours so it looks interesting.

Some great stir fry vegetables are:

Carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, shallots, cabbage, spinach, snow peas, sugar snaps, capsicum, squash or zucchini, fresh asparagus, mushrooms, Chinese greens, and baby corn.

The key to a good stir fry is that vegetables should be tender but crisp to eat.

For some added crunch, include some drained canned water chestnuts. YUM!!!


3. DON’T use coconut cream – there’s around 40g of fat in a cup and it’s not a healthy fat either

Coconut milk is around 40g of fat per cup and even the light versions are around 20g per cup so they’re not really ‘light’ in fat. So, skip the coconut creams or milks and instead use evaporated light milk with 1 teaspoon of coconut essence per can. At only 4g of fat a cup this is a much healthier alternative, and you won’t notice the difference in flavour. For a dairy free option use unsweetened almond milk.

Buy your Coconut Essence HERE

4. DON’T overcook your meat – it will be tough and tasteless

Use this method to ensure your meat is juicy and tender every time:

  • Heat a non-stick wok or pan and spray with cooking spray.
  • Place in your strips of meat, chicken, seafood, or tofu into the pan one at a time, you want to hear that sizzle. When the protein is nearly cooked remove it from the pan.
  • Next add your vegetables to the wok, cook for a few minutes. Add the sauce and allow to thicken.
  • Finally, right at the end of the cooking time, toss the protein back in and warm through. Serve immediately.


5. DON’T serve with fried rice there’s enough flavour in the stir fry

1 cup of fried rice can have around 15g of fat. The best choice is Basmati Rice as it has a low GI, but if you really want to have fried rice then I have a recipe for you in book 3.


Bonus tip for cooking light fluffy rice every time

Use an electric rice cooker as it makes rice cooking so easy. To avoid gluggy rice, rinse the raw rice under running water to remove the starch.  Cook for the time shown on the packet and when cooked, run a fork through to separate the grains. Perfect fluffy rice every time!


Scroll down to find 11 delicious stir fry recipes

Watch me make my Satay Beef Stir Fry

This video from my weekly cooking show, Thursdays With Annette, shows you how to make my Satay Beef Stir Fry. Note: Competitions and promotions are closed.

Join me for Thursdays with Annette on my Symply Too Good Facebook page to see me make a delicious recipe from my cookbooks and for your chance to win prizes. Thursday at 2pm AEST Qld, NSW, Vic ACT, Tas | 2:30pm SA | 1:30pm NT | 12pm WA. (Time changes to 2pm AEDT during daylight savings)

11 delicious healthy stir fry recipes

If you’re not sure how to cook stir fries then I can help, I have many delicious stir fry recipes in my 9 cookbooks… such as:

Beef Stir Fry – Book 1 & Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry – Book 2 & Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Mongolian Lamb – Book 3 & MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Honey Prawn Stir Fry – Book 4

Chinese Beef – Book 5 & Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Chicken Basil Stir Fry (pictured above) – Book 6

Asian Green Stir Fry – Book 6

Shanghai Beef Stir Fry with Almonds – Book 7

Ginger Fish and Snow Pea Stir Fry – MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Apricot Chicken Stir Fry – MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Satay Beef Stir Fry – MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

To name but a few 😊


Pictured recipe: My Chicken Basil Stir Fry from Book 6

Want more deliciously healthy recipes? I have lots of FREE RECIPES HERE for you to enjoy

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