Matchstick Vegetable Stir-Fry, For All The Veggie Lovers Out There

Vegetable stir-fry is one if the easiest vegetable sides dishes out there.  By mixing different vegetable flavors and textures, you undoubtedly get a more interesting side dish.  What I also love about a good vegetable stir-fry is that almost any vegetable can work, so it is super easy to adapt to the likes and dislikes of various family members or dinner guests. Traditional stir frying is a Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a wok.  The technique began in China and eventually made its way to us.  I remember when stir-fry became popular when I was a kid: my mom came home with a wok with every intention of whipping up delicious “stir-fry” dinners for me and my sister.  I recall at least one attempt at that; but in New York City, cooking with woks on high heat quickly sets off smoke detectors, thus putting an end to my mother’s stir-fry dreams.

vegetable stir-fry

 It is thought that wok frying began sometime during the Han Dynasty around 206 B.C. but was originally used for drying grain.  It was not until later, during the Ming Dynasty, that people began using woks to cook food in hot oil.  The wok itself would not become widely used until well into the 20th century, since the cost of oil was too high for most families.

vegetable stir-fry

In the world of stir-fry, there are two classic types of techniques: “chao” and “bao“.  Both of these theses use high heat, but chao involves incorporating liquid, which results in softer cooked food.  Bao involves no liquid, which tends to result in crispier items.  The chao technique is more similar to sautéing; high heat, first oil, then ingredients are added in order based on how much coking time is required, typically proteins first followed by vegetables.  In contrast, bao technique involves high heat with continual tossing.  Although I don’t use a wok for this recipe, my method is more similar to the chao stir-fry method.  When stir-frying vegetables, I like to make the vegetables thin and as similarly sized as possible, so that everything can be added at the same time and cook more or less equally.
 While I am generally a big vegetable fan, anything can get boring eventually.  Stir-frys are a fantastic way to mix it up and also help introduce newer vegetables into your diet. For this vegetable stir-fry, I went with readily available vegetables that my boys like.  But don’t limit yourself, there tons of great options out there to consider.  So go ahead and be creative.

Recipe: Matchstick Vegetable Stir-Fry

: 4-6 : 45 min : 15 min : 1 hr : easy


  • For the Vegetables:
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 cups carrots, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 2 cups jicama, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 2 cups snap peas, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped


  • Step 1 Place a large sauté pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and when hot, but not smoking, add the carrots and sauté until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the onions and cook an additional 3 minutes to soften.
  • Step 2 Add the green beans, jicama, snap peas, the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and the water. Cook for about 5-6 minutes to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, salt and a some black pepper and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  • Step 3 Off the heat stir in the parsley. Adjust the seasoning needed.
About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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