Category Archives: What’s New

How to Make Fresh Rice Noodles

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This week’s Wok Wednesdays stir-fry is Chicken Chow Fun. The main ingredient is the fresh rice noodle known in Cantonese as haw fun or hor fun, and in Mandarin shahe fun. The ivory white noodles with their tender, slippery and slightly chewy texture are my comfort food. When I was a child my father made a special haw fun noodle soup with soy sauce chicken, Chinese greens and homemade chicken broth that I adored. My cousin Kathy was famous for stuffing the noodles with stir-fried cha siu, bean sprouts, scallions and cilantro. Her recipe is in “The Wisdom of the Chinese Read More …

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Mr. Cen’s Hand-Hammered Wok

Here is the photo of the "woks stacked in an iron tower." My favorite detail in this shot is the soccer ball nearly hidden among the woks. photo credit: Alan Richardson

Mr. Cen, the Shanghainese wok artisan whose incredible hand-hammered woks grace the cover of “The Breath of a Wok” is slipping from me. For years I have dreaded this fate. Since 2004, I have sent friends and fans of my books to visit Mr. Cen in Shanghai. Inevitably, the experience would be the highlight of their China trips. Everyone brought home woks and gushed with stories of how extraordinary it was to witness Mr. Cen and his brother fashioning beautiful woks in their primitive little shop. Sometimes a few years passed between visits. With news of each encounter I was Read More …

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Chayote

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Next week’s Wok Wednesdays recipe is Chinese Jamaican Stir-Fried Chicken with Chayote. I was in Chinatown this morning and was pleased to find a gorgeous selection. Even my local Morton’s supermarket was well stocked. Chayote is also known as mirliton, mango squash, vegetable pear, Buddha’s hand and Buddha’s hand melon. It’s a popular vegetable in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Jamaica, and throughout South America. The flavor is mild like zucchini or fuzzy melon. When selecting chayote look for unblemished, firm melons. Chayote must be peeled as the skin doesn’t soften with cooking. Some cooks wear a latex glove Read More …

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Suncraft fruit knife

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When I was in San Francisco visiting Tane Chan, owner of the Wok Shop I treated myself to a knife. I have so many knives and I should be getting rid of stuff rather than buying more but how could I resist? Tane told me her mother used the Suncraft knife for over 30 years! It was her favorite knife to cut fruit for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Tane’s mom used it until the handle was worn and the finish disappeared. In the 30 plus years Mrs. Ong had the stainless-steel knife she never had it sharpened and used it Read More …

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Happy Year of the Monkey

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Many people have asked me the meaning of the year of the monkey. Not being a Chinese astrologer I’m really not the person to advise on such matters. But yesterday, I received this beautiful photo of my friend and mentor Florence Lin, that provides a glimpse into the monkey personality. Florence is born in 1920, the Year of the metal Monkey. Her daughter wrote me, “Mom is doing slave work for us: slicing meat paper thin (for the special new year’s eve dinner). Her only pay is a scotch on the rocks and a few peanuts.” Seeing Florence with her Read More …

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