15 speedy stir-fry recipes for busy weeknights

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15 speedy stir-fry recipes for busy weeknights

From classics like Kung pao chicken and pad Thai to favourites like teriyaki pork and crispy tofu, these stir-fry recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less. Whether you’re on a budget, prefer tofu to beef or need dinner on the table in a snap, you’re bound to find a new favourite in this round-up of our best-ever stir-fry recipes.

When it comes to homemade fast food, stir-fries come out tops! They’re quick, never skimp on big and bold flavours and are easily adaptable to what you have in your pantry and fridge. Don’t feel like cooking or craving Chinese takeout? Choose one of these 15 recipes to make instead.

Chicken stir-fry recipes

Kung pao chicken

This classic Szechuan stir-fry is made up of cubed chicken breasts stir-fried in a punchy, spicy sauce flavoured with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lots of chillies and thickened with sugar. It’s popular to serve it with cashew nuts at takeout restaurants, but the authentic version features roasted peanuts.


Get the recipe for Kung pao chicken here.

Sticky stir-fry noodles

Spicy, speedy and satisfying. This recipe just speaks for itself. When you’re in a hurry or when you need a meal in minutes, this should be your go-to dish.

Get the recipe for sticky stir-fry noodles here.

Honey-soy chicken

This one will be a hit with the family. Chicken is cooked in a sweet and sticky sauce flavoured with garlic and ginger and served on a bed of rice noodles and side of Swiss chard because… veggies. All this in just 15 minutes – bookmark the recipe now!

Get the recipe for honey-soy chicken here.

Beef stir-fry recipes

Szechuan wok beef

Like many dishes from the Szechuan region, this one promises lots of heat! We suggest making a big batch of the salted lime cucumber and jarring it ahead of time. It’s great with lots of dishes, but if you’re in a hurry, swap the salted lime cucumber for this easy version. 

Get the recipe for Szechuan wok beef with salted lime cucumber here.

Chinese beef stir-fry

For maximum flavour, get a head start with this recipe by marinating the beef overnight or before you leave for work in the morning. This recipe is a fantastic way to clean out your fridge and pantry. If you have any wilted veggies or that bottle of hoisin sauce you purchased to make one recipe and stashed at the back of your cupboard… this is the recipe to put them to use. Serve with noodles or fluffy rice.

Get the recipe for Chinese beef stir-fry here.

Beef with oyster sauce

This easy, one-pot beef and vegetable stir-fry is easily adaptable. On a budget? Swap sirloin fillets for cheaper cuts of beef and substitute asparagus and pak choi for hearty greens like cabbage, green beans and broccoli. This saucy dish comes together in 25 minutes and is packed with sweet and savoury umami oyster sauce flavour.

Beef with oyster sauce

Get the recipe for beef with oyster sauce here.

Pork stir-fry recipes

Sticky pork stir-fry

On busy weeknights, there’s no shame in cutting corners and using ready-made sauces and store-bought chopped veggies. This recipe is the ultimate low-effort, big rewards dish. Don’t be fooled by the convenient ingredients used, the flavour is all there!


Get the recipe for sticky pork stir-fry here.

Stir-fried pork mince

This recipe is so quick, that there’s no time to look away. Use pork mince when you feel the mid-month budget pinch and adjust the spice level to suit your tastes. Simple, no fuss and utterly delicious.


Get the recipe for stir-fried pork mince here.

Teriyaki pork and mushrooms

Not a fan of spicy dishes? This stir-fry is for you. The marinated pork is wok-fried but remains tender while the mushrooms soak up all the rich flavours of this speedy dish.

Teriyaki pork and mushrooms on spinach noodles recipe

Get the recipe for teriyaki pork and mushrooms here.

Fish stir-fry recipes

Hoisin hake with egg-fried rice

Jazz up leftover rice with this fishy recipe. While your hoisin glazed hake is cooking in the oven, toss ginger, garlic, chilli and rice in a wok to fry before stirring in a beaten egg. Don’t have leftover rice? Use a packet of ready-to-eat basmati rice to save time.

Get the recipe for hoisin hake with egg-fried rice here.

Coconut seafood and Asian greens

Hosting a few guests at the last minute? Wow them with this seafood stir-fry – no need to tell them how it came together 30 minutes and how you barely broke a sweat. This delicious rice dish is a seafood medley that’s wok-fried in coconut oil before being added to a fragrant Vietnamese-inspired broth consisting of coconut milk, fish sauce, lime and lemongrass.

Coconut seafood and Asian greens stir-fry recipe

Get the recipe for coconut seafood and Asian greens here.

Prawn pad Thai

There’s a reason why this Thai street food is a timeless classic. It’s got everything: crunchy peanuts and bean sprouts, slurpy noodles, scrambled eggs, juicy prawns and bold flavours of fish sauce, chilli, tamarind and shrimp paste. This dish is a flavour explosion. If you’re unsure about cooking prawns, fear not, this recipe uses frozen and cooked prawns.

Get the recipe for pad Thai here.

On a budget? Make this meat-free pad Thai

Meatless stir-fry recipes

Vegan Thai coconut noodles

It only takes 5 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking to have this plant-based stir-fry ready to serve. There’s hardly any chopping involved in this recipe, so it also gets top marks for having less dishes to wash up.


Get the recipe for vegan Thai coconut noodles here.

Tamarind tofu stir-fry

If you’re searching for a recipe to convert you to a tofu fanatic, you’re found it. Tamarind is slightly sour, tangy and a little sweet, this makes it the perfect paste to coat fried cubes of tofu and brinjal. Make sure your pan is very hot and big enough for all the ingredients to come into contact with the heat for the best results.

Tamarind tofu stir-fry

Get the recipe for tamarind tofu stir-fry here.

Crispy tofu noodles

Have you spotted crispy, fried tofu on social media? Now’s your chance to try it! You may stay faithful to our recipe and deep fry the tofu or bust out your airfryer for less mess and spills. We suggest making more because you’ll definitely want leftover the next day.


Get the recipe for crispy tofu noodles here.

Find more stir-fry recipes here.

Lesego Madisa Article by: Lesego Madisa

TASTE's commercial content producer loves thrifty recipes, fridge foraging and never says "no" to cake. When she's not flipping through the pages of food mags and cookbooks, she's happily baking and knitting in her tiny apartment.

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