Spin a Stir-Fry Lesson & Lab

Need quick cooking recipes for your foods labs or dinner at home on a busy night?  I know I do!  That’s why I teach about stir-fry cooking!  Not only is stir-fry cooking quick and easy, but it’s nutritious, colorful and fairly easy to clean up. So, after students investigate some basics of stir-fry cookery, they get to spin themselves a unique recipe for the class to sample.  Try spinning yourself a stir-fry. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite, easy-to-go-to dinner!


  • Ask students what their family’s go to meals are on a busy night.  Many share fast food and processed examples.  Share with them that they will learn about a way to prepare a home cooked meal in the same amount of time as their processed go to meals, maybe even less!  Introduce stir-fry cooking.


  • Laptops or iPads
  • Paper Clips
  • Colored Pencils or Crayons
  • Lab Ingredients
  • Chopsticks (optional)


  • Students will use an internet article to research background information pertaining to stir-fry cooking.  See the guide sheet below.  I suggest students use  “Cooking Class: Stir-Frying” from Cooking Light.
  • Afterwards, we discuss their answers, spending extra time talking about the importance of Mise en Place, reviewing vegetable cuts, the cooking techniques and order to add ingredients.
  • Show this video demonstrating “How to Stir-Fry

  • To make the stir-fry labs more interesting, I have lab groups “SPIN” their Stir-Fry Recipe, using a paperclip, pencil and the option forms below. They color in their spin selections for an easy recipe visual. **Teacher Note:  I decide the amounts of each item groups receive.  For example:  Proteins=1/2 -1 lb., Vegetables=1 or a bunch or a can/bag, depending on how it’s sold, Sauce=1 jar, and Base=package amounts/servings based on class size.
  • Students prepare their recipe, create an original name for it and sample each other’s to see how different ingredients and combinations taste.  Students select the one they prefer the best and briefly explain in one paragraph why, using Google Classroom to submit their preferences.
  • For fun, I pull out the chopsticks!  It’s always a fun time watching them learn to use them!  Here’s a tutorial I show for students to practice ahead of time.


Image courtesy of KEKO64 of Free Digital Photos

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