Tag Archives: stir fry

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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General Tso’s Chicken

Peng Chang-Kuei the inventor of General Tso’s Chicken, probably the most popular Chinese stir-fry in America, has died at the age of 98. Google General Tso’s Chicken, and you’ll find thousands of images. The obituaries in the New York Times and The Washington Post are worth reading. The documentary The Search for General Tso, released in 2014, is a fascinating look at Chinese American food seen through the lens of this iconic Hunan chicken stir-fry. My favorite scene is when the elder Peng is shown a photo of his General Tso’s Chicken as it’s typically served in America, and he Read More …

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Chinese Trinidadian Chicken with Mango Chutney

“Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” was a fascinating cookbook to write because my research included not only traditional stir-fries but how the Chinese diaspora managed to stir-fry in Peru, Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Malaysia, South Africa, Burma, India, and even in the Mississippi Delta. One of my favorite interviews brought me to Trinidad to meet Winnie Lee Lum. Her cooking integrates local ingredients she has learned from living in Trinidad for over forty years with the traditional Chinese stir-fry technique. Winnie explained to me, “Chinese food in Trinidad reflects the Creole and Indian influences. Just like the people Read More …

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Chayote

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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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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