Thursday, July 13, 2006
Basic Skill To Make Sweet And Sour Pork Video
Just remember that when you cook in a wok, to get the right result just like in the restaurant, not soggy at all, you can't put too much food in the wok. If you need to cook larger amount of food, then you need to cook them batch by batch.
At that video clip, look at the comparison size of the wok with the food that he cook. There is a reason why the wok is so big but the food is so little, because his heat source can't produce the high heat like in the restaurant's kitchen where you can see the flame shooting out like crazy.
So, don't get discourage if your chinese food that you cook did not come out as beautiful as in the restaurant. You might think that's because you don't have the same stove like in the restaurant. Even though this is true on some occasion, but the trick so that your cooking can come close to the restaurant's quality is on the right amount of food that you cook compare to the size of your wok. Always buy the largest size of wok, 14 inches is a good size. Then make sure you heat it until hot first. Cook just a portion of the recipe ( usually for 4 people ) and not more.
The type of the wok also play a crucial role on how your food will be cooked.
Some type of cooking that I cook, comes out better looking when I used a large nonstick pan instead of a wok, why? It's because there are more surface on a pan than on a wok. So I can pushed around the meat to brown them without overcrowding the pan. As a result what ever extra liquid that is on the pan will evaporate faster, that's why preparation is very important when you want to cook Chinese food. Most of the time, speed is the essence of cooking Chinese food.
My wok is from LeCreuset. So far I am quite happy with it because it's heavy so no matter how rough I cook, it stays in place. Then because the slope is not to deep, I can push the meat that I just stir-fried on the side up first so they won't be overcooked while I stir fried the sauce. Then when the sauce is ready, I brought down the meat again to mix with the sauce. The good thing about LeCreuset is because they retain the heat very well. To make it nonstick, I never wash it again with soap, after I finish cooking, I pour boiling water from electric thermos into my wok and let it soak so that what ever food stick to the surface it will comes off by it self. Then I use a stiff brush to brush them off under hot water in the sink. Le Creuset doesn't recommend their customer to use high heat when they heat the wok, so I use only medium heat, even that is enough to make my wok very hot.
One more important detail. Don't put cold meat/veggies into a hot wok because then you will loose the heat too much. So what I do was, if I remember, I always put the food that I am going to cook on the kitchen counter for at least 1 hr before I start cooking. Or if I forget, then I just put the marinated meat in my microwave for a short time and medium-low heat setting just to bring down the temperature closer to room temperature.
Have fun with your wok!
Pic: Stir-fried Ong Choi ( water spinach/KangKong ) with garlic and chilies.