Choosing the right cooking oil is the first step to creating a winning dish. So first things first: knowing what’s the best oil to use starts with considering what method you’ll be applying. I don’t like to have a pantry bursting with ingredients I hardly ever use (check out my kitchen staples here), so I tend to stick with three types of oil for all my culinary needs. They’re a great starting point to help you tackle pretty much all my recipes!
Stir-frying: it’s fast and furious! Because you’re getting to high temperatures when wielding your wok, you need an oil that has a high smoke point. That means it won’t break down when things get hot, hot, hot. I tend to go with vegetable oil – it’s fairly cheap, widely available and is a fantastic all-rounder. Sunflower oil and rice bran oil are also totally up to the job, plus peanut oil is another good option for the same reasons. Oh, and don’t forget to read my article on what mistake to avoid when stir-frying to ensure success every time!
If it’s heated too much, toasted sesame oil – which is stronger and more fragrant than the regular kind – can turn bitter. It’s why I always use it to give a final hit of flavour to a dish once I’m done with the heat, so it keeps all its intensity. Try it in my Sichuan Sesame Chicken Noodles.