If you hear “stir-fry” and think “pan-fried veggies and maybe some chicken—meh, boring,” allow us to open your mind. Rather, let this week’s featured foodie do it: Caroline Phelps of Pickled Plum is here to share nine of her favorite stir-fry recipes that are not meh in the slightest. From Korean sticky chicken to Singaporean chow mei fun, they’re are all simple enough to put together on a weeknight. And isn’t that really all we’re looking for sometimes?
The best way to slurp your dinner always involves slippery noodles, tender veg, and a salty-sweet sauce. Those perfectly chewy sweet potato noodles are probably in the Asian section of your grocery store (and definitely online), but if you’re in a pinch, rice noodles will do.
The orange chicken takeout you’re used to is probably coated in flour and deep fried—maybe not the best weekly dinner choice. This DIY version calls for sautéed chicken and a honey-based orange sauce, bringing all the flavor of that infamous American-Chinese chicken with none of the mystery ingredients.
This chow mei fun is just as smoky as any restaurant version (TY turkey bacon and shrimp!), but we love that it has even more of a funky umami flavor. Pair curry powder-dusted veggies with rice wine vinegar-doused noodles, then top with white pepper.
Most moo gai pan (a dish of chicken and button mushrooms) is prepared in the Cantonese style with a white sauce; this Szechuan-inspired version is a bit more savory, with soy sauce, chicken broth, and sesame oil. OK, we’re drooling over here.
Pancit is a Filipino dish of noodles cooked in soy sauce with meat and chopped veg (sounds pretty perfect, amirite?). The sweet flavors of this version come from just a dollop of thick oyster sauce—although once you try it, you’ll definitely want to buy the biggest bottle in the store.
Load up on the napkins: We’re having sticky chicken for dinner tonight (and once a week for the rest of ever). This Korean dish is a little bit spicy, sweet, and savory all at once; essentially it’s beyond addicting. Don’t skip the shower of sesame seeds and scallions to finish.
The Chinese-American Hunan chicken dish is tender protein and veg tossed in a thick spicy sauce. This version is sweeter than the traditional Chinese recipe, plus it calls for bite-sized chicken breast instead of bone-in chicken—making it a super-quick weeknight dinner.
This sweet, uber-spicy tofu is the dinner of our dreams. Crispy tofu is creamy yet firm, and holds up to the spicy Sriracha sauce like no other vegan protein. Though the tofu makes a satisfying meal on its own (maybe with a salad to kill the spice), we like this dish best served with sautéed spinach and miso soup.
Bacon and noodles? Uh, yes, please! Toss crispy bacon with kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage) and a savory rice vinegar-soy sauce mixture. Coat fat udon noodles with the sauce, then top with an egg—runny yolk not optional. Pro tip: Keep a tub of kimchi in your fridge for bland dishes that need a kick.
Caroline is the creator of Pickled Plum, a food blog featuring easy and healthy recipes with an Asian flair. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 3-year-old cat, Tsukune (Japanese for chicken meatball). For more from Caroline, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.