The key to making the best cooking is to use the right pan. Pot Master Grace Yang explains how this kitchen must use its cooking magic.
Don’t get me wrong, I like all my kitchen equipment, but the first one on my list is definitely my wok. This is the working horse in my kitchen. I like it for a number of reasons: its spacious surface allows the liquid to drop rapidly. Its concave shape makes cooking fast and easy. Its deep wells exude intense heat, turning the sloping side into a dynamic cooking surface. Simply put, it’s the only container that can quickly stir and cook anything in a healthy way.
I see the wok as a way of life, both timeless and timely, and can be used every day. The stir-fry in the wok has a magical cooking effect that can change the ingredients. I can’t think of another cooking technique that allows a small amount of food to be served to many people, even if the meat is kept to a minimum, and the variety of vegetables is emphasized.
Eat with stir-fry and rice or noodles, you always seem to have enough food to feed a large group of people. Of course, a good cooking depends on good ingredients, especially in seasonal vegetables. When a vegetable is seasonal, it has so much flavor that you rarely need to add any condiments. Combined with high heat and ultra-fast cooking, the cooking technique maximizes the inherent flavor and texture of each ingredient.
When you use the wok, the patina becomes darker and the color becomes darker. A dry pot allows you to use less cooking oil because carbon steel has become a rust-proof, naturally non-stick surface. Even if you don’t add fat, you will notice that your ingredients are full of strong flavors.
These recipes are an introduction to the wonders of the wok. Sweet and sour pork with fresh pineapple and Kung Pao chicken can be traced back to my Guangdong root, but I gave everyone a modern atmosphere. Vegetable cooking at the farmer’s market makes full use of all the quality agricultural products that the farmer’s market can provide at this time of the year. Tomatoes and basil fried garlic and shrimp also prove that the wok is not just Chinese food.
I hope that these recipes will inspire you to use the wok to cook every day, of course, steamed, boiled, and stewed. Remember that the depth and breathing of the pot flow to the edge of the sky. Come on!
A 14-inch carbon steel pan with a long wooden handle and a short assistant handle is ideal. It has plenty of room for mixing ingredients; carbon steel heats up quickly and evenly, and as you cook it more often, it gets a natural, non-stick surface; the pan is placed on the stove Therefore, its temperature is enough for cooking.
Use high-smoke oils such as peanuts, grapefruit, safflower or rapeseed oil. Cut the ingredients into even pieces so that everything can be cooked in the same amount of time.
Before adding the wok, use a salad rotator or kitchen towel to dry the vegetables. Place the ingredients next to the stove and use them in sequence. Once cooking begins, there is no time to make the final preparations.
Heat the wok to the highest temperature to prevent ingredients such as meat, poultry, fish, rice and noodles from sticking to the pan. When a drop of water evaporates in 1 to 2 seconds, the pot is hot enough.
When cooking, you should always hear the sound of screaming. If there is no iron plate, the pan is not hot enough, too crowded, or the ingredients are wet.
Use soft metal pancakes or fish knives (if you have one, you can use a wok knife) to fry; the wooden shovel is too thick to be placed under the ingredients.
Do not squeeze in the pot. Too much ingredients will lower the temperature of the wok and cook your cooking.
High temperature cooking requires your full attention.
If your pot is fresh, don’t stew, steam, boil, or cook in it, because the liquid will dissolve the new patina.
The traditional Chinese kitchen has two pots: one for cooking, frying and deep frying, and the other for steaming, boiling, digging, stewing and smoking. If you have only a well-used pot with thick rust on it, you can cook a variety of dishes inside. When boiling, poaching and stewing, a little rust will disappear, but it will disappear with more frying.
To keep it shiny, wash your iron pan like a wok. Soak in hot water for 5 minutes. Wash with a sponge. Rinse with hot water. Dry on the stove with a small fire until the water has evaporated.
Your spatula will cause scratches, but scratches will make your pan unique. As you continue to cook in the pot, the scratches will fade as the gloss deepens. A new wok is very thirsty for fat, so use it for bacon or deep-fried. Fat will help your pot form a rust faster.