Should I call what is depicted in the image "stir fried mixed vegetables", "stir fried vegetables" or "fried vegetables combination"?


For stir fry, I'm not sure how to write "stir fry" in past tense and continuous tense. Can I say these?

I stir fried vegetables yesterday.

I'm stir frying vegetables.

  • 1
    It's a vegetable stir fry most places I've been, which is the headline on the page you link. The page also refers to it as a vegetarian stir fry (but we omnivores eat it, too, so I don't like that). You can also call it stir fried (or stir-fried) vegetables and everybody will understand you and nobody will think you're weird. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 15:58
  • Sorry, correction: Vegetable stir fry is the title of the page. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 16:08
  • Thank you so much! I think your suggestion is great(a vegetable stir fry).It's really useful. ^^ By the way, I still wonder those sentenses " I stir fried vegetables yesterday. and I'm stir frying vegetables." are correct or not.
    – nkm
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 16:12
  • They sure are. It's a little easier on readers if you write it stir-fry, stir-fried, stir-frying, but that's getting really picky. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


Stir fry (or stir-fry) can be used as a noun, for dishes which have been prepared with that method, as in

I cooked vegetable stir-fry yesterday.

I'm cooking up vegetable stir-fry for supper.

Chinese stir fry is also commonly heard, as the term originated in a Chinese cookbook; the Western counterpart to stir-fry is sauté.

To say vegetable stir-fry is to describe a particular dish, i.e. a stir-fry that has been prepared entirely with vegetables, as opposed to a chicken stir-fry or pork stir-fry for example. In contrast, vegetarian stir-fry describes a stir-fry which is vegetarian— unless it is made from vegetarians, I suppose.

When cooking for themselves, I don't think most people would refer to any dish as a combination, unless citing the title of a particular recipe. That term is associated with discounted options at inexpensive restaurants and fast food joints.

Stir fry can also be used as a compound verb, which you can use as you have proposed.

He stir-fries vegetables and tofu for supper every day.

I'm stir-frying the vegetables so they'll be crispy.

You can also use its past participle (adjectival) form to describe food that has been so prepared.

She prepared stir-fried vegetables yesterday.

You made stir-fried vegetables again?

  • Thank you for your clear explanation which helps a lot. Now I'm more understand. It's really useful. ^_^
    – nkm
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 14:28

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