Category Archives: What’s New

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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Chinese celery

Chinese celery

In celebration of New Year’s, tomorrow’s Wok Wednesdays stir-fry is Julie Tay’s Singapore-Style Duck with Chinese Celery (page 131 from Sky). While you can certainly use regular “Western” celery, Chinese celery is worth taking the time to find. The flavor is much more intense and aromatic. Unlike Western celery it is never eaten raw because it’s not as tender. The Chinese like adding it to soups, stews and stir-fries. Celery is popular to eat for the lunar new year. The belief is that eating celery has positive meaning because the word for celery in Cantonese kun choi is a homonym for diligence. Read More …

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The best gift: a Wok

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This holiday season if you’re wondering what to give, you can’t go wrong with a wok. At a time when we all want to simplify our lives, this essential tool is ideal for nine different cooking techniques: stir-frying, pan-frying, braising, boiling, poaching, steaming, deep-fat-frying, smoking, and even roasting. Instead of the expensive ten piece cookware set William Sonoma wants you to buy, for under $30, you can purchase a high-quality American-made wok that can do just about everything. When you give a wok you’re giving a piece of culinary tradition. For over 2000 years the wok has been the workhorse Read More …

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