This Unexpected Ingredient Will Take Your Stir Fry Up A Level

If stir fry is one of your favorite preparations, then you likely know that some of the best stir fry dishes at restaurants have a wonderful balance of flavors. They have sweet and sour components as well as tangy, umami, and even bitter notes. And that's all thanks to the complexity of the combinations of ingredients those who make the stir fry use. But for those trying to make stir fry more often at home, there's one ingredient that can really take the dish's flavor to another level.

According to The Spruce Eats, the key to a great stir fry is actually the wok, the specially shaped pan that allows the food to cook well and develop caramelization without burning. By adding one unusual ingredient to your recipe, though, you'll likely find that it's the real secret behind amazing stir fry at home. The best part is that you likely already have a bottle on hand.

This is why you should add ketchup to your stir fry

According to Food & Wine, ketchup is the ultimate way to take the flavor of homemade stir fry up a level, thanks to its sweet and sour flavor profile. It just might be the easiest cooking hack to elevate your home cooking to that of your favorite take-out. Not only does the ketchup add to the complexity of the dish, but it also balances it out. Food & Wine explains that the condiment can provides some much-needed relief in a spicy dish. The sugar in the ketchup is also a welcome addition.

But if you're looking to amp up the flavor even more, you might want to consider adding sriracha to your stir fry, as Allrecipes recommends. Though similar to ketchup, sriracha will add more heat and garlicky flavor than ketchup. You might want to add a touch of honey to add the same sweetness and balance that ketchup would too. Regardless of which tomato-based condiment you choose to use, it's bound to add a spark to your recipe.