Kitchen Tips

Wok Star: Chef Mayson Yu Shares The Secret To Cooking With A Wok

A specialist in modern and classic regional Chinese cuisine, chef Mayson Yu brings years of experience to the Asian Inspirations team. We caught up with this Beijing Celebrity Chef to chat about essential utensils, authentic ingredients, and his special technique for cooking with a wok.

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What are the essential ingredients for Chinese cooking?

Salt, shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine), ground pepper, light soy sauce and vinegar.

Name five utensils every cook should have in their kitchen.

A wok, a ladle, a strainer, an oil pot and spice bottles. Seasoning and Caring For Your Wok

What is your secret to cooking with a wok?

Begin by heating an empty wok over high heat. Add cold oil to the wok, then add the ingredients and begin stir-frying before the oil has heated up. This trick helps ensure the ingredients don’t stick together. In order to use this technique, you must ensure your wok is a good thickness. If the wok is too thin, once the cool oil is added it will cause the temperature of the heated wok to drop, and hence the wok will not be hot enough for the non-stick trick to work.

Besides stir-frying, what are some other ways we can use a wok at home?

It also can be used to make steamed dishes. Choose a bamboo steamer basket that will fit comfortably within your wok (it needs to be elevated from the bottom so it doesn’t touch the water). Add water to the wok and bring to the boil, then cover with the steamer baskets lined with baking paper or lotus leaf. Tips for Cooking with a Bamboo Steamer To get cooking with your wok, try these 6 quick and easy recipes using a wok. For more Chinese cooking advice, read about Chinese cooking techniques and 5 basic Chinese cooking tips.

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