Learning how to pan-fry food is one of the skills I consider most important in cooking. It’s not just a matter of throwing everything into a pan, swishing it around for several minutes, and then taking it out; instead, it’s a strategic game plan of heating the pan, and then adding the ingredients into the pan in the right order so that everything is properly cooked without being overcooked. Maybe it’s just me, but I like the vegetables in my stir-fries to still have a little bit of crunch to them!
Heating the Pan:
I’m still learning the proper way to heat pans, it seems. Watching this video on heating a stainless steel pan seems like a good piece of advice, if you have a stainless steel pan. Tefflon non-stick pans should not be overheated, and only used on low to medium heat. Cast iron pans can also be a lot of fun to use, and are slower to heat up and cool down, helping to prevent temperature spikes – BUT make sure to take the time to properly season your cast iron pan!
This is actually important to mention: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU USE WHEN STIRRING THE CONTENTS OF A PAN! Metal tools can be good, but you have to be careful not to scratch the pan: never use metal tools with a non-stick pan, as you do not want to scratch the non-stick coating! In general, I see no problems with just using plastic or silicone tools, especially for your average cook.