Wok Wednesdays. – Chinese Indian Vegetarian Fried Rice

This recipe comes from Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young page 265. It is  part of the Wok Wednesdays project which can be found on Facebook and www.wokwednesdays.com

Something close and very, very good to Chinese Indian Vegetarian Fried Rice

Something close  to Chinese Indian Vegetarian Fried Rice


Such a simple recipe with such simple ingredients .Or so you would think. Looking forward to making this recipe, and I was so sure I had everything I needed except the Basmati rice. Just a quick trip to the store that turned into a trip to three stores and no Basmati rice to be found in the Mid-levels in Hong Kong! Plan B was to use jasmine long grain rice, but I did not have any leftover as suggested for fried rice. Moving forward, decided to use the jasmine rice freshly cooked.

After the trip to multiple stores for rice, in pouring rain I might add, I set upon my mission to complete the the fried rice. After finding no ketchup in the refrigerator and no chili garlic sauce ( I thought I had those staples) the improvising continued. I would make this dish, or a reasonable incarnation of it or die trying! I used tomato paste diluted with a bit of sugar and worchestershire for the ketchup. Easy enough. I then opted to use some homemade Indonesian Sambal Bajak in place of the garlic chili sauce. I also used veggies on hand which consisted of red pepper, red onion and carrots.

I was so very pleased with the result, although I am sure it is nothing like what the original recipe intended. But we gobbled it up with pleasure. I served it with stir-fried lemon and salmon.

My one-time Minnesota neighbor and great friend, Ari, made me a supply of Sambal Bajak to bring to Hong Kong. She is a native of Indonesia and an excellent cook.  Although I have purchased sambal bajak at market, there is nothing like hers to be found. It is a delight and a staple in our house. A very complex mixture of flavors with an incredible heat! Not for anyone that does not like it “hot”. We use it on eggs, baked sweet potatoes, stir-fried cabbage, chicken with rice in lettuce wraps……… I could go on and on and on. Anyway, THANK YOU Ari for the sambal and THANK YOU  Grace for the inspiration. I will diligently look in local gourmet stores for some Basmati rice and attempt the recipe again with all the prescribed ingredients.

Update: Five stores later, I found the basmati rice!




Hong Kong-Style Ginger Mango Chicken

This recipe comes from Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young page 124 and is part of the Wok Wednesdays project that can be found on Facebook.

I was looking forward to making this dish. I love the savory and sweet combo. It is visually very pleasing as well. The ingredients are simple to prepare and the easy-to-find ingredients make is a cinch to prepare.

Easy to prepare and ready to wok-n-roll!

Easy to prepare and ready to wok-n-roll!

What stands out in this dish is the meat preparation. Velveting is described as an advanced technique, but the directions in the cookbook are very explicit and easy to follow. This was my second time employing the velveting technique, and it really produces moist, plump chicken pieces.

Ginger Mango Chicken in the process.

Ginger Mango Chicken in the process.

I liked this dish, but not as much as other recipes we have enjoyed from SFTTSE. However, I am a fan of velveting chicken. This dish would be good for people that do not like a lot of spice. It is a mild flavor.

The finished dish.

The finished dish.



Wok Wednesdays – Dry-Fried Sichuan Beans

This recipe comes from Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young page 233. It is  part of the Wok Wednesdays project which can be found on Facebook and www.wokwednesdays.com

Dry-Fried Sichuan Beans, note the steam!

Dry-Fried Sichuan Beans, note the steam!

We could not get enough of this dish. I thought the beans were a little old, but they cooked up wonderfully. I followed the instructions to cook beans for a minute or so to let the beans brown and blister a bit and then stir-fry for 30 seconds and repeat the process.. Total bean cooking time was about six minutes.  They were tender crisp and nice and hot. Note the steam rising off the beans.

Pat Chun Preserved Veget

Pat Chun Preserved Vegetable

I used preserved vegetables (not Sichuan preserved veggies as the recipe called for), because that is what I had on hand. Next time, I will add some Sichuan peppercorns to give it more spice, but this was nice for those that might not want a spicy dish. My husband tasted these preserved vegetables and started eating right out of the jar with his rice.

I have marked this as one of my top five recipes made so far from SFSE. Could eat it everyday!!

Stir-Fried Chili Scallops

Stir-fried chili scallops

Stir-fried chili scallops

This recipe is from the wonderful book Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young page 154

I really enjoyed this dish. Very colorful and flavorful with the chili bean sauce. I was a little unhappy with the sear on the scallops. Next time, I would do them in batches and higher up in the wok to escape the water that deveolped. The scallops, although not seared as much, were not overcooked and very tender. The bok choy cooked wonderfully. I would make this dish again.

Wok Wednesdays -Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms and Spicy Garlic Eggplant

These two veggie recipes came from The Breath of a Wok by Grace Young page 144.

Shiitakes and Eggplant

Shiitakes and Eggplant

What do you get when you take mushrooms, eggplant and lots of ginger and garlic? Two great veggie dishes.

Stir-Fried Shiitakes and Spicy Garlic Eggplant

Stir-Fried Shiitakes and Spicy Garlic Eggplant

I was so happy with the outcome of these two dishes. After using the technique of steaming in wok, I am now convinced that you do not need any other pan in your kitchen. The wok is so versitile. The great thing here is that when you steam something first, like eggplant, hardly any oil is needed to stir-fry and finish the dish.

A great meal!

A great meal!

The leftover mushrooms are going in an omelet today!

Kerry if you are reading, you have to go out and get a wok for you and Nancy.

Wok Wednesdays – Minced Pork In Lettuce Cups

This week’s Wok Wednesday’s recipe is Minced Pork in Lettuce Cups.  The recipe can be found in Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, by Grace Young.

We had another triumph with our Wok Wednesday meals. This was quite enjoyable, especially using fresh water chestnuts. I have never seen them, or paid that close attention to them, in the markets in the US, but they are plentiful in the wet markets of Hong Kong. They really add a nice crunch. No jalapenos available here (which the recipe calls for). I used red Thai chilies that are most common here. They added great zing.I would continue to use them.

Everything chopped and ready to go!

Everything chopped and ready to go! Oh yeah, there is a martini in the foreground!

Minced pork in the wok.

Minced pork in the final minute before plating.

The finished dish!

The finished dish!

I guess I should work on my presentation or get better at Photoshop! I just noticed that messy edge on the platter.

Wok Wednesdays – Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms

This was my first posting to the Wok Wednesdays group. This is a group of people cooking their way through Grace Young’s Stir -Frying to the Sky’s Edge and meeting and posting and sharing through Facebook and blogging. It works great for me, because I am very interested in wok cooking and there is very little offered here in terms of cooking schools.

Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms was not my first stir-fry, the first engaging with the group. It is a great dish for the Chinese New Year. Also, it prompted me to go out and find some fresh noodles in the market. Found a great little shop with a long line buying noodles. There was great conversation over the lo mein noodles and they were obviously getting the seal of approval from several of the women buying, so I thought it was a good place to buy. We were not disappointed. The noodles were excellent. I was quite pleased with the result of the dish. I would work a little harder at browning the chicken, but I was pleased that the meat was not overcooked and the cabbage was crisp.

Wok Wednesdays - Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms.

Wok Wednesdays – Lo Mein Chicken with Ginger Mushrooms.




Wokk’n on the Wild Side

I bought a wok today. I bought it from a very nice man at Kam Lee Steel Product and Engineering Ltd. on Cleverly Street in Sheung Wan.  It is a traditional round bottom carbon steel wok.

Me and my brand new wok!

I am more excited to cook with this wok than I can express. One of the best things about our flat is that we have a great gas cook top with four burners and a fifth burner in the middle with a ring for a wok!I was given very specific instructions for preparing this wok for cooking. First, heat the wok until it turns blue or very dark. Then take a half an onion, soaked in water, and rub the inside of the wok with the onion.

Moving fast. This wok is hot!

You don’t want the onion to burn, so when you smell the onion burning you stop and re-soak the onion. You continue to rub the wok with the onion until you no longer smell any metal. Your nose plays a big part in this whole thing. Lucky for me. When you achieve the goal of no metal smell, you then reheat the wok and rub the inside with pork fat or pork skin, which is plentiful in the markets here. It will probably even be free. However, I did see Crisco in a specialty store and that could be used. I am committing to using this wok at least two times per week. My goal is for it to turn that great dark black and be non stick before I venture back to the US.

Sunchoke and Cashew Stir Fry with Egg, Basil and Asparagus. I am very happy with the results. Not greasy or oily at all.

Oh by the way, this was not an outrageous financial commitment. The whole deal set us back about $9 US.

There is another dark side of wok cooking. And that is the endless wok puns that Steve comes up with.  Here are just a few:

  • Always wok on the bright side of life
  • Just keep on Wokin.’
  • Wok like you mean it
  • Wok, wok, wok til you can’t wok no more
  • Wok baby, don’t run
  • Wok til you drop
  • Just wok away
  • I’m wokin’ here!  #@!!!