11th October 2007

Posted in

Blog :: Chinese Food and a Great Food Blog

I've been making a lot of stir-fry lately and I was trying to decide if I should add a wok to my Christmas list. I've got one nice commercial grade Look skillet that I do most of my stir-frying in but it's pretty shallow and doesn't hold as much as I'd like to make. Now a wok is a pretty cheap pan as cookware goes but as soon as I started looking I discovered there are options to consider. Do I want carbon steel? Cast iron? Light or heavy? Hand hammered? And I have a flat top electric range - that means I have to get a flat bottomed wok, and will I have enough BTU's to really stir fry well anyway?

I decided to hold off on buying a new pan when I saw the wikipedia page about woks note that some people stir fry in cast iron skillets when limited by the BTU's of their stove - cast iron skillets tend to be very heavy and retain heat well - if you give them enough time even on a weaker stove you get them as hot as you need. I love my cast iron (and have a big 14 incher already) so now I'm eager to try it out. I hadn't thought of using my cast iron pans this way; I usually really work to keep the heat low in my cast iron skillets to keep their non-stick properties. With stir-fry you're really frying things so this may not be a problem - I guess I'll find out.

While all this research was going on I stumbled across a gem of a food blog - Barbara Fisher's blog Tigers & Strawberries has nearly 100 posts tagged "chinese recipes" and I found her when Google directed me to this fantastic post on stir fry technique. I can tell right now that she's going to help expand my range of Asian cuisine and techniques - Pan Fried Noodle Pancakes? Cold Sesame-Peanut Noodles? Or some Thai food - Panang Curry Beef? I've got some recipes to try...

Posted on October 11th 2007, 09:19 PM