Best Spatula for Stir-Frying

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When you stir-fry it’s natural to assume you’ll be using a Chinese spatula, also known as a wok chuan in Cantonese. These beautiful tools have a shovel-like shape which means as you stir-fry, each scoop holds more food than a Western spatula. The rounded edge also fits the contour of the wok. I adore the Chinese spatula (pictured left) that I bought years ago in Kowloon, at Chan Chi Kee, the famous knife shop. If only I had bought more. For whatever reason, the Chinese spatulas I find these days look similar to mine but the design is off. Some are Read More …

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Durian and Wild Wampee

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I never know what I’ll discover on trips to Chinatown. On recent visits there have been lychee, longan (dragon eye), rambutans, mangosteens, mangoes, and dragon fruit. This week I was pleased to see the durian vendor was back. As I was admiring him segmenting the fruit into plastic containers, I heard a woman excitedly say in Cantonese, “I haven’t seen wampee in over 30 years!” That’s when I noticed that the other fruit the vendor was selling wasn’t longan. It was something I’d never seen before that had the look of longan, but was smaller with thin skin and fine hairs. In Cantonese Read More …

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Chinese Broccoli

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This week’s Wok Wednesdays dish is Hong Kong Style Stir-Fried Chinese Broccoli. In case you’re wondering what Chinese broccoli (gai lan in Cantonese) looks like here’s a shot I took a few years ago in Hong Kong. In Chinatown produce markets in New York and San Francisco, they’re normally sold in 2-pound bundles. It’s stunning to see them beautifully displayed this way in a Hong Kong wet market. On the top row there’s a stalk that has white buds, (they can even be pale green). Once the buds open and produce yellow flowers the broccoli is past its prime. Also Read More …

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Luffa

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Walking in Chinatown today, it’s so nice to see luffa, also known as loofah, angled luffa, Chinese okra and silk squash, in nearly every produce stand. This time of the year they’re perfect. Young, with a smooth, velvety skin, you’ll find the squash are about 10 to 12-inches in length. Later in the season, I stop eating them because they’re so mature, the skin becomes tough, leathery and hard. In China, the overgrown squash can be 2-feet long, are left in the fields to dry and become the loofah sponge, used for bathing.  I took this photo at one of my favorite Read More …

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  • Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge
    ~Winner James Beard Foundation Best International Cookbook Award
    ~Finalist IACP International Cookbook Award
    ~Best Chinese Cuisine Book USA Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards
    ~Awarded IACP Culinary Trust eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters Culinary Journalist Independent Study Scholarship

    “With this extraordinarily inspiring and comprehensive book, Grace Young establishes herself not only as one of the world’s great experts in Chinese cooking but as one of its few genuine masters. Buy it, read it, cook from it-and soon you will be on your way to becoming a stir-frying master yourself.”
    –James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur

    READ MORE ABOUT “STIR FRYING TO THE SKY’S EDGE

    “When it comes to stir-frying, I have a guru, the cookbook author Grace Young. Her new cookbook, “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge,” is the ultimate guide, whether you’re a beginner or a chef.”  Martha Rose Shulman New York Times

    “Stir-frying may have been pedestrianized by generations of vegetarian college students, but this beautiful, comprehensive cookbook restores it to its rightful place among the most elegant cookery techniques. The virtues of stir-frying, Young writes, are many: it makes bounty out of small amounts of meat and oil; it emphasizes healthful vegetables; and most importantly, it creates alchemic flavor out of raw ingredients. Young has a scholarly yet impassioned approach, and she fuses personal anecdotes, meticulously researched history, and stir-fry”“related arcana to illuminate her subject. For the serious home cook, this informative, lyrical tome is an inspiration.”  Publishers Weekly

    Chicago Tribune selects “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” as one of the Top 10 Cookbooks to keep!

    NPR selects “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” as a Top Ten Cookbook of 2010
    “If you heed Grace Young, whose previous cookbook taught a lesson to those of us who thought a wok was just another pan. Young’s thorough yet streamlined book zooms in on the minutiae of the correct stir-fry — from how to chop your protein to what to listen and look for in the pan. But her book is broad as well as deep, offering panoramic views of the universe of stir-fry from Singapore to Astoria.”                                                                 T. Susan Chang NPR

    READ MORE

  • Multimedia

    • Grace Young and Leonard Lopate
      In this radio interview Grace discusses the techniques and traditions of stir-frying with veteran NPR host Leonard Lopate.
    • Grace in Chow.com Kitchen
      A video from the brilliant folks at Chow.com that shows the most common stir-fry mistakes.
    • Melissa Block and Grace Young
      Join Grace and All Things Considered host Melissa Block on a visit to New York City’s Chinatown to buy a traditional iron wok and to learn the special vitality of the “breath of a wok.”

More Multimedia…

  • The Breath of a Wok
    Unlocking the Spirit of Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
    IACP Le Cordon Bleu International Cookbook Award

    IACP Jane Grigson Cookbook Award for Distinguished Scholarship

    World Food Media Awards’ Best Food Book

    READ MORE

    The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen:
    Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing
    IACP Le Cordon Bleu International Cookbook Award

    Finalist IACP First Cookbook Award

    Finalist James Beard International Cookbook Award

    READ MORE


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