Seasoning a Brand New Wok

I decided to treat myself to a smaller, 14″ in diameter new stainlesss steel wok. I have two other woks that are larger.  A smaller wok will be a great size for stir-frying a meal just two people.  mid section view of a woman cutting vegetablesHere is how I seasoned my new wok using the “Stovetop Seasoning Method”:

1) Wash the wok throughly to remove the oil coating they put on new woks to prevent rusting in the store. I scrubed the wok with a scouring pad and detergent, and then boiled water in the wok to further remove any remnants of the oil coating.

2)  OPEN AS MANY WINDOWS AS YOU CAN FOR STEP 2 AND FOLLOWING: I also placed a small rotating standing fan on my countertop near the gas cooktop to coax the smoke I would be producing out the open windows!

3)  First, I poured a cup of coarse kosher salt into the wok. With high heat, toss the salt for 10 minutes. Pour out the salt.

4) Then, brush the entire wok surface with canola oil. I also rubbed a chunk of raw ginger on the entire wok surface to further the seasoning process. Again, with high heat, tilt the wok periodically to coat the entire wok. Let it smoke wildly!!! The wok will start to turn brown. When you can’t stand the smoke anymore, let the wok cool.

5) Absorb any excess oil in the wok with paper towels.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 several times until the wok surface turns dark and shiny. Wipe the cooled wok each time until the paper towel leaves no ash or residue on it.

I plan to repeat the stovetop seasoning process after I use the wok several uses.

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Wok Around the World! Blending Chinese and Indian Tastes

Little ChefsChinese and Indian cooking merge! “Chicken Manchurian” is a dish that my favorite wok cooking  author, GraceYoung, shares in her magnificient wok cookbook “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge.” Order your copy of her delightful book from Amazon!

I have not tried this recipe yet but will share it with you and when  I do try it, I will make further comments and suggestions.

1 lb of skinned boneless chicken thighs cut in 1/4 inch slices, 2 tbsp of egg whites, beaten, 2 tsp cornstarch, 2 tsp minced garlic, 3 tsp minced ginger, 3 tbsp peanut oil, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1 tbsp soy sauce,  1/3 cup chopped onions, 2 Thai chili peppers, sliced, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 tbsp chopped scallions. (easy ingredient list!)

Combine the chicken, egg white, cornstarch,  2 tsp garlic, 2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cold water. stir in 1 tbsp of oil and put in refrig.  for 30 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine broth and soy sauce.  Heat up the wok and swirl in the remaining oil, onions, chilies, 1 tsp  each of garlic and ginger. Stir until the onion wilts.

Push to side of wok and add the chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute unbtil chicken is seared and lighly browned. Swirl the broth mixture into the wok and stir-fry until chicken is cooked through. Stir in scallions last. Serves 2-3 with rice.            MP900387890 - Copy - Copy - Copy

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Another Great Quote on Stir-Frying!

“Let the meats and the vegetables

be combined and married in the wok,

instead of meeting for the first time

when served on the table.”  

– Quote by noted chef, Lin Yutang???????????????

 

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One of my Favorite Quotes From my Inspiration – Grace Young

“Stir-frying brings food to life,

intensifying the flavors,

bringing a blush of color and radiance

to all of the wok ingredients.”   

???????????????

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Gong Boa (Kung Po) Prawns

One of my Absolute Favorites! (And, my dinner guests love this recipe too!) 

A pleasantly spicy sweet-and-sour dish which takes only a few minutes to prepare. It can be served with either rice noodles or rice.

mid section view of a woman cutting vegetablesIngredients:  1 lb of prawns;  1/2 cucumber; 1 1/4 cups fish stock; 1 tbsp vegetable oil; 1/2 tsp crushed diced chilies; 1/2 green pepper, cut in strips; a handful of grape tomatoes cut in half;  2/3 cup vegetable stock; 1 small carrot; 3 tbsp rice vinegar; 2 tbsp ketsup;  1 tbsp sugar.

Add all of the above ingredients to the wok and stir fry, except for the prawns ad the cukes which I add last to the wok. Don’t overcook the prawns or the cukes!! My husband and I love our food to be quite spicy, so we sometimes add more chilies than recommended above. That way you have a great excuse to drink more wine or sake! I recommend cold sake with this dish or a hearty white wine.  A real crowd-pleasing dish!    

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Use Your Wok to Make Great Hot and Sour Soup!

I tried making  hot and sour soup in my wok for the first time and it came out great!  Try it and let me know what your results!! 

MP900289057 (1) - Copy - CopyIngredients Needed 

4-6 mushrooms, sliced;  8 0z pork, cut in very thin strips;  3 tbsp cornstarch;  2 pints of water,  2 tbsp sunflower oil;  1 small onion, finely chopped;  3 pints of chicken broth;  11 oz can of chicken or beef consomme with full quantity of water added;  5 oz of tofu diced;  4 tbsp rice vinegar;  1 tbsp light soy sauce;  1 egg, beaten;  1 tsp sesame oil;   2-3 scallions shredded to garnish;  add salt and pepper to taste. The more pepper added, the spicier the soup! (My husband and I like it very spicy, so I add PLENTY OF PEPPER)

SOUP”S ON!

Lightly dust the pork strips in cornstarch. and water. Heat wok and fry onions until soft.  Fry the pork strips , add the chicken broth, consumme  and mushrooms. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Lower the heat, add the tofu, vinegar, soy sauce and salt and pepper.  Bring to just below boiling  point. At the last minute before serving, drizzle in the beaten egg, stir in the sesame oil and garnish with 2-3 shredded scallions!

\This recipe got RAVE REVIEWS! A definite keeper for future wok dinners!

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Minced Meat with Charred Aubergine (Eggplant!)

This recipe is from  South-east Asia.and comes from the cookbook “Best Ever Book of Wok and Stir-Fry edited by Jenni Fleetwood, page 190.

To get the smoky eggplant flavor, charcoal broil the eggplant with its skin on, then skin it and chop up and add to the wok.  This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients: 2 medium eggplants, 1 tbsp. peanut oil, 2 shallots -finely chopped, 4 garlic cloves (yikes) , peeled and finely chopped, 1 red pepper, finely chopped, 12 oz. of minced ground beef or pork, and  sea salt and ground pepper.  Serve with a salad and crusty bread.

Green Snow PeasYou can make this with either beef or pork, but I have not tried the minced pork version yet, which I would guess would make for a much fatter version of this dish.

Char the two aubergines with the skin still on.  Peel off the skin, by soaking under a stream of cold running water.Chop roughly.

Heat peanut oil in the wok, stir in the shallots, garlic and peppers. Add the minced meat and stir-fry for a few minutes. Simmer the mixture under low heat  fro about 20 minutes until the meat is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Easy, easy, easy to make! 

NOTE:  (I like my food spicier, so I add my FAVORITE spice – “Simply Asia’s – Sweet Ginger Sseasoning,” a natural seasoning with no MSG, with ginger, toasted sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, garlic, bell peppers and coconut!) www. simplyasia.com    

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