Author Archives: grace

The Best Scallops: Downeast Dayboat

This month’s recipe for Wok Wednesdays is Ken Hom’s Stir-Fried Peppers and Scallops from “The Breath of a Wok.” We are only cooking one recipe in December because it’s such a busy time and this is a special dish that’s extra festive for the holidays. This past spring, a friend recommended I try Downeast Dayboat scallops. In New York I’ve been satisfied with the quality of scallops that I buy at the farmer’s market and local gourmet stores, so I didn’t understand why I should go to the trouble of ordering scallops that require being fedexed from Maine. I was Read More …

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Tribeca Veterinary Wellness–with Heartfelt thanks…

  This blog has always focused on Chinese cooking, but now I want to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of our beloved cat Henley. If you’ve followed me on Facebook or Instagram over the years, you’ve seen many beautiful and funny photos of Henley, and read a bit about his antics. This handsome boy so full of joy kept us smiling every day. He was only 15 years old, and since we gave him the best of care, and of course lavished boundless affection on him, we thought we would have many more years with him. But on Read More …

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The Breath of a Wok Video

I’m very proud to present my latest video. It’s a tribute to the wok—an instrument of life force, a vessel of history and tradition, and a trusty companion that helped me survive a tough summer. I’d been thinking about this video for a long time before I finally got to work on it. My concept was that so many people think the wok is just a stir-fry pan, but it’s so much more. While researching my cookbook, The Breath of A Wok, the Chinese culinary legend Florence Lin said to me, “With one wok you can do everything.” I was Read More …

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“The Wok in America” at MOFAD

I rarely give talks in New York City, but on Tuesday, July 18th I’ll be speaking about “The Wok in America” at the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in Brooklyn, where the exhibition, “Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant” is currently on view. My own family’s wok, circa 1949, is one of the items on display. If you’re familiar with my cookbooks, you might remember that my parents did not use a wok. They stir-fried with a stainless-steel skillet because a round-bottomed wok wouldn’t work on their electric stove. I was reunited with my ancestral wok just a few Read More …

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The Last Handmade Wrought Iron Woks of Shanghai

In December, I reported that the Cen brothers, the Shanghai wok artisans whose woks grace the cover of “The Breath of a Wok,” closed shop. Since that posting I’ve received numerous emails, some desperate on how to buy a Cen hand-pounded wok. Sadly, there is no hidden stash. Someone I know contacted one of the brothers who confirmed the business is permanently closed. There is some good news in the hand-pounded wok universe. A few months ago, Christopher St Cavish wrote a piece Meeting Tao Qingjian,The Last Woksmith in Smartshanghai.com. Tao’s woks are dramatically different from the Cen woks because the Read More …

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