Chinese Cold Dressing

4 cloves garlic (minced; 4 cloves = about 15g)
3 thin slices ginger (minced; 3 thin slices = about 8g)
2 scallions (chopped, with the green and white parts separated)
3 Thai chilies (chopped)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or to taste)
2 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
1/2-1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped; or to taste)

In a large heat-proof bowl, arrange the minced garlic, minced ginger, the white parts of the chopped scallion, and chopped Thai chilies so they are adjacent to each other at the bottom of the bowl (don’t messily pile them all on top of each other).

Now infuse the Sichuan peppercorns in oil. In a small pot, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil with the Sichuan peppercorns over low heat until fragrant, taking care not to burn the peppercorns.
After about 10 minutes, remove the peppercorns using a fine meshed strainer or slotted spoon. Heat the infused oil just until it begins to smoke. Pour it carefully over the arranged aromatics in the bowl. It will bubble and sizzle! Carefully stir to evenly distribute the heat.

Now add in the sugar, vinegar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt and five spice powder. Mix well.

Finally add in the green parts of the chopped scallion and the cilantro. (If pre-making the sauce, leave these last ingredients out and add them right before serving.)

This all-purpose Chinese Cold “salad” dressing is ready to add flavor to blanched or steamed vegetables, tofu, seaweed, noodles, etc. With this sauce, you can make a variety of refreshing, cooling dishes during the warmer months, and use it for anything you have on hand.

Simply blanch or steam some vegetables, say: carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, string beans, even mushrooms. You could also include some traditional Chinese add-ins like tofu, seitan, five-spiced tofu, bean threads, seaweed, wood ears, noodles, etc.

This dressing will make your dinner planning that much easier. Make double, triple or quadruple this recipe and keep it refrigerated to be used throughout the week.

Peanut Noodles

200 g fresh white (wheat) noodles (7 ounces; or 100g/3.5 ounces dried)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger (minced or grated)
1/3 cup peanut butter (85g; creamy or chunky)
2-3 tablespoons hot water (depending on desired sauce consistency)
1 tablespoon Thai sweet soy sauce (we like the “Healthy Boy” brand; can substitute 1 teaspoon Chinese dark soy sauce, plus 1 teaspoon sugar)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce to keep the dish vegan)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Meanwhile, prepare the garlic and ginger, and add to a serving bowl along with the peanut butter and hot water.

Stir to combine, letting the hot water loosen the peanut butter. Then stir in the sweet/dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil, along with the lime juice and chili oil if using.

By now, your water should be boiling. Cook your noodles according to package instructions. Drain and toss in your sauce. Serve.

Garlic Noodles

12 ounces thin spaghetti (340g; can also use dried Chinese noodles or fresh egg noodles)
salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 cloves garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar (depending on your taste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1-2 whole scallions (chopped)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles/pasta according to package instructions. If using fresh noodles, you may simply need to blanch them. (Reserve some of the pasta cooking water, as you may need it in the sauce later.)

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, until lightly caramelized, and stir in the turmeric (if using), oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Stir for 1 minute and add the scallions.

After 30 seconds, to let the scallions wilt, toss in the cooked pasta and parmesan cheese. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of the noodle cooking water to loosen them up.

Serve them either as a side dish, or as a quick and easy vegetarian main, with some bok choy or sauteed broccoli on the side!

1-2-3-4-5 Tofu

21 ounces firm tofu (1 1/2 containers, 600g; cut into cubes)
2 tablespoons oil
4 slices ginger
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons water

Preheat a wok (or cast iron pan) until it starts to smoke lightly. This is very important to prevent the tofu from sticking.

Add 2 tablespoons oil, along with the ginger slices. Over medium heat, fry the ginger for 1 minute. Add the tofu, and take 10 minutes to brown the tofu on at least 2-3 sides.

When the tofu is lightly browned (or to your liking), add in 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, 3 tablespoons light soy sauce, 4 tablespoons sugar, and 5 tablespoons water. Stir and mix everything well. Turn up the heat to bring it to a boil.

Cover and reduce the heat to medium/low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Halfway through, check to make sure the liquid is not drying up. If so, reduce the heat further and add in a little more water if needed.

After 15 minutes, remove the lid. The sauce should be mostly cooked down. With the heat on high, gently toss the tofu to ensure every piece is coated in glistening sauce. This process takes a couple of minutes. Reduce the liquid until there is ¼ cup of liquid left and the tofu is gleaming with sauce. Serve immediately.

All-Purpose Chinese Brown Sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable or mushroom stock; 350ml)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (can sub gluten-free soy sauce or tamari)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or vegetarian or gluten-free oyster sauce)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a jar with a tight lid (must hold 2 cups of liquid), combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients together and shake well.

This sauce should keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator; all you need to do is measure and pour out what you need for your dish. Makes enough sauce for about 3 dishes.

Whether you have carrots, peppers, onions, celery, snow peas, snap peas, bean sprouts, bok choy, etc. left over or readily available in your fridge, you can use any combination you like. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe!

HOW TO USE THIS STIR-FRY SAUCE:

MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN: Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2. PREPARE AROMATICS:

I like to cut my aromatics fresh, so I will mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths if I have some.

SLICE VEGETABLES: I’ll prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

PREPARE YOUR THICKENER: 2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

SEAR MEAT: Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and ginger. (If you also sliced scallions, you can add the white parts of the scallion at this stage.)

After a few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute or until just softened.

Add about 2/3 cup of stir fry sauce (more or less depending on how much sauce you like), and heat until simmering.

And add in the seared meat.

Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon (you may need a little more or a little less cornstarch slurry depending on how much sauce you added and how high your heat is). Add the green parts of your scallions (if using), and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.

All-Purpose Chinese White Sauce

For the Chinese white sauce:
3 cups stock (chicken stock, pork stock or vegetable stock, 540 ml)
3 cloves garlic (finely minced or grated)
3/4 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1 teaspoon scallion (white part only, minced)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
1 teaspoon MSG (totally optional!)

Pour chicken, pork or vegetable stock into a resealable glass jar. It’s best to use home-made stock but you can use store-bought as well. If you use store-bought prepared stock, try to use a pure stock without any other flavorings added (herbs, spices, etc.), as usually store-bought stocks are usually made for western cooking.

Next, add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites. It’s best if these aromatics are very finely minced. Add, salt, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil, oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce), and MSG if using.

Seal, and shake well to combine. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake before using. Makes enough sauce for 4-6 dishes.

To make a stir-fry:
8 ounces meat of your choice (225g, pork, chicken, or beef; thinly sliced ¼ inch thick)
3 cups mixed vegetables (bell pepper, mushrooms, celery, carrots, snow peas, snap peas, broccoli/broccolini, cauliflower, bamboo shoots, lotus root, etc.)
1/2 cup firm tofu (cubed, optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 – 3/4 cup prepared Chinese white sauce (depending upon how much sauce you like)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water; you may need a little more or less, depending upon how much sauce you use and how thick you like it)

Take your sliced meat, and velvet it using our method for velveting beef, velveting chicken, or velveting pork.

Bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a boil, and blanch the vegetables and tofu for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain thoroughly and set aside. (Blanch in 2 batches if you have lots of vegetables, or if vegetables require different cooking times. Dense vegetables like carrots will take a little longer than snap peas, for example).

Heat your wok over high heat until it just starts to smoke. Use 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to evenly coat the wok. Spread the velveted meat in the wok in one layer. Sear for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the wok and set aside. Note, instead of searing the meat, you can also blanch it; just reduce oil to 1 tablespoon for stir-frying.

Next, without washing the wok, reheat your wok over high heat, and add the blanched vegetables and Shaoxing wine. Stir everything together, and add the meat.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your white stir-fry sauce, and stir-fry everything together to deglaze the wok. Keep cooking until the sauce comes to a full simmer.

Mix the cornstarch and water into a slurry. Move the pork and vegetables to the sides of the wok. There should be a little well of sauce/liquid at the center of the wok. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the liquid, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Give everything a final stir. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Plate and serve over steamed rice.

Cantonese Ginger Scallion Oil

Ingredients
2 scallions (must have white parts, 50g)
10 thin slices fresh ginger (20g)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (120 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
light soy sauce (to taste; OPTIONAL)
Instructions
Wash the scallions and pat them thoroughly dry. Thinly slice them into rounds, and then use your knife to mince them further.
Next, slice 10 rounds of ginger very thinly. Julienne them into matchsticks and mince them finely. (These steps could be done with a food processor.)
Combine the scallion, ginger, oil, and salt in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, and it’s ready to serve!

Notes:

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN USE IT:

As a condiment to chicken or any meat of your choice – poached, pan-fried, or even grilled

As a dip for tofu, for our vegans out there

In cold noodles

As a flavoring or topping for leafy green vegetable stir-fries

Over plain rice with a fried egg, or fried rice!

If we are enjoying poached chicken (bai qie ji), we split it into two small bowls, and add light soy sauce to one of them to taste.

Vegetable Yakisoba

2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan Worcestershire if making vegetarian)
2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 medium carrot (julienned)
1 cup green cabbage (julienned)
1/2 red bell pepper (julienned)
1 pound fresh yakisoba noodles (450g)
3 scallions (julienned)
toasted sesame seeds (optional garnish)

In a small bowl, mix together the mirin, Ponzu sauce, oyster sauce, and Worcestershire sauce until thoroughly combined.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok. Stir-fry for 2 minutes and then add the onions, carrots, cabbage, and bell pepper.

Stir-fry for another 2 minutes, and then add the noodles. Pour the sauce mixture over the noodles. The liquid will help break them up.

Continue to stir-fry the mixture for another 2-3 minutes until the noodles are heated through. Add the scallions and stir-fry for 1 more minute. Serve, garnished with black sesame seeds if desired.

Chicken Yakisoba

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
8 oz. sliced chicken thighs or breast (225g)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons oil (plus 2 teaspoons, divided)
1 small onion (thinly sliced)
1 medium carrot (julienned)
2 cups cabbage (julienned)
12 oz. fresh yakisoba noodles (340g)
2 scallions (julienned)

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, combine the sliced chicken with 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 2 teaspoons oil. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Add the chicken in one layer and allow to sear for 1 minute. Stir-fry for another minute, remove from the wok, and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok, along with the shiitake mushrooms. Stir-fry for 2 minutes and then add the onions, carrots, and cabbage. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes, and then add the noodles, seared chicken, scallions, and the sauce mixture. Continue to stir-fry the mixture for another 2-3 minutes until the noodles are heated through.

Yaki Udon

1 pound frozen udon noodles (450g, or 200g dry udon noodles)
2 tablespoons butter (30g)
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons dashi powder
1 tablespoon oil
4 ounces pork shoulder (115g, julienned; can substitute chicken, beef, seafood, pressed tofu, or more vegetables)2 tablespoons mirin
2 cups cabbage (shredded)
1 medium carrot (julienned)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 scallions (julienned)

Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles. Boil for 30 seconds – 1 minute to loosen them. If using dried noodles, cook according to package instructions. Drain, rinse in cold water to remove excess starch, and drain thoroughly again. Set aside.

Place a large Dutch oven, non-stick pot, or large cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add the butter. Once partially melted, stir in the garlic and dashi granules. Cook for 30 seconds, until the dashi partially dissolves. At this point, the butter should be a light brown color.

Add the drained noodles and toss to coat them in the butter. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until the noodles have dried out and are slightly crisped. Remove and set aside.

Add a tablespoon of oil to the pot, along with the pork shoulder. Brown the pork until crisp on the edges. Add mirin, and cook until caramelized.

Add the cabbage, carrot, pepper, soy sauce, and water. Stir-fry until the vegetables are wilted, and add the noodles back in, along with the scallions. Stir-fry for ano

Korean Fried Chicken

For the tenders:
2 chicken breasts (cut into 15 tenders)
Buttermilk (enough to coat the chicken)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons Korean chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Vegetable oil (enough to fill a small, deep pot for frying)

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons gochujang paste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey (or agave)
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard

First, place the chicken tenders in a medium sized bowl. Pour enough buttermilk into the bowl to submerge the chicken. Add the soy sauce and dijon mustard. Stir thoroughly and let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine the flour, Korean chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Heat the oil over medium high heat. When a chopstick dipped into the oil sizzles, you’re ready to start frying.

Dredge each chicken tender in the flour mixture, coating thoroughly. Then dip the chicken tender back into the buttermilk. Dredge in the flour mixture a second time, and gently place into the hot oil. Fry until the chicken is golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet.

Repeat the double-dipping/dredging and frying with the remaining pieces of chicken. When you’re done frying the chicken, combine the gochujang, soy sauce, agave, sesame oil, and dijon mustard for the dipping sauce. Serve immediately–maybe alongside some French fries if you’re having yourself an extra little splurge!

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

For the chicken & marinade:
2 tablespoons water
12 ounces sliced chicken thighs or chicken breast (340g)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
8 ounces wide dried rice noodles (225g)
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar (dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (Thai soy sauce preferred)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
pinch ground white pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (divided)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 shallots (sliced, about 1/3 cups)
1 scallion (julienned into 3-inch pieces)
4 Thai red chili peppers (deseeded and julienned)
1 cup holy basil or Thai basil (loosely packed)
5 to 6 pieces baby corn (split in half, optional)
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine

Work the 2 tablespoons of water into the sliced chicken with your hands until the chicken absorbs the liquid. Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon oil, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and mix until the chicken is evenly coated. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Follow the directions on the rice noodle package to prepare your noodles. What we usually do is prepare a stainless steel bowl with hot tap water to soak the noodles for about 15 minutes. Then we just drain them and set aside for cooking.

Stir together the dissolved brown sugar mixture, soy sauces, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and white pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat your wok until it’s close to smoking, and spread 2 tablespoons of oil around the perimeter of the wok. Add the chicken and let it sear for 1 minute on each side until it’s about 90% cooked. Remove from the wok and set aside. If the heat was high enough and you seared the meat correctly, your wok should be still clean with nothing sticking to it. If not, you can wash the wok to prevent the rice noodles from sticking.

Continue with the wok on high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil, along with the garlic and grated ginger.

After a few seconds, add the shallots. Stir fry for 20 seconds and add the scallions, chili peppers, basil, baby corn and shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for another 20 seconds and add in the rice noodles. Use a scooping motion to mix everything for another minute until the noodles warm up.

Next, add the prepared sauce mixture and stir-fry at the highest heat for about 1 minute until the noodles are uniform in color. Take care to use your metal spatula to scrape the bottom of the wok to prevent sticking.

Add the seared chicken and stir-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Curry Mee

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion (minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
1 tablespoon lemongrass (minced)
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (thinly sliced)
3 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
13.5 ounces coconut milk (400 ml)
4 cups chicken stock (950 ml)
3 tablespoons fish sauce (optional for vegetarians)
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces egg noodles (225g)
salt (to taste)
2 handfuls raw bean sprouts (washed and trimmed)
Cilantro leaves (for garnish)
1 lime (cut into wedges)

Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook for about 6 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Stir in the red curry paste.

Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque. Add the curry powder, turmeric, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package directions. Divide between 2 soup bowls and set aside.

Taste the soup and season with salt to taste. Divide the soup among your 2 bowls of noodles, and garnish with raw bean sprouts, cilantro, and a squeeze

Chicken Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

For the khao soi paste:
2 Thai bird’s eye chilies
2 medium shallots
6 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger (peeled and sliced)
1/4 cup cilantro (stems and leaves, rinsed)
zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons shrimp paste (Thai, filipino, or Chinese shrimp pastes will all work; can substitute laksa paste)

For the soup:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (sliced)
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons brown sugar
14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons fish sauce (or to taste)
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles (thick wonton noodles work well)

To garnish:
thinly sliced shallots
lime wedges
pickled mustard stems/greens
crispy noodles
chopped cilantro
Thai chili paste (Nam Prik Pao)

Add all the curry paste ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and stir-fry the chicken until browned. Remove from the pot and set aside. To the fat left in the pot, add the paste. Fry for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the canned Thai red curry paste, broth, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low. When the broth is at a low simmer, add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Add the chicken back to the broth.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions.

To serve, divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Cover with chicken and broth, and garnish with sliced shallots, lime wedges, pickled mustard greens, fried noodles, cilantro.

Steak and Bok Choy Stir-fry (Chow Steak Kow)

For the steak and marinade:
1 pound beef ribeye or sirloin steak (cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda (optional tenderizer, depending on the quality of your steak)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

For the steak sauce:
5 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed into a slurry with 1 tablespoon water)

For the bok choy base:
12 ounces fresh bok choy (cut and thoroughly washed)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3-4 slices fresh ginger (smashed)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon MSG (optional)

When you prepare the steak cubes, leave some of the fat on the steak. This adds key flavor to the dish. Transfer the cubes to a medium bowl, and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss until the steak is well-coated. Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In a small bowl, combine the water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil. Set aside.

Make sure your bok choy is thoroughly cleaned. We always triple wash our bok choy. Not doing a thorough job risks sand ruining your vegetables.

Heat wok over high heat. Spread 1 tablespoon vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok, and immediately add your smashed ginger slices. After 5 to 10 seconds, add the chopped garlic and bok choy.

Quickly stir-fry the bok choy (so the garlic doesn’t burn), until it begins to wilt. You can also cover the bok choy for 30 seconds if your wok burner is not producing enough heat.
After the bok choy is cooked and wilted (about 60 seconds or so), add the salt, sugar and MSG (if using). Mix thoroughly, transfer to a warm serving plate, and set aside. MSG is totally optional, but it really brings out the flavor of stir-fried vegetables.

Work quickly through these next steps, because your stir-fried bok choy is waiting to be topped with your delicious steak! Carefully rinse your wok with warm water, drain, and wipe off any excess moisture. Place the wok back over the burner set to high heat. Spread 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok.

Once the wok begins to smoke, add the steak in a single layer, fat-side down for any pieces with visible fat.

Sear for 30 seconds or until brown. Use your wok spatula to toss everything together to ensure even cooking and browning, but resist the temptation to stir too much. High heat is essential to ensure you have a good sear and maximum flavor. I like to sear the steak until cooked medium / medium rare, which is why this steak stir fry recipe calls for large 1-inch chunks of steak.

Once done to your liking, turn off the heat, and scoop the steak over the bok choy to rest. (If any liquid has pooled on the bok choy plate, pour the excess off before adding the beef.)

You’ll need at least 1-2 tablespoons of the residual oil in the wok. Pour off any excess and discard. This is pure beef flavor that will make your sauce taste that much better. Turn the wok back up to medium-high heat. Pour the prepared steak sauce into the wok, using it to deglaze the wok. If you want more sauce, you can add some additional water—bonus if you use the water from the bok choy plate, which has a nice ginger and garlic flavor.

When the sauce is simmering, stir up the cornstarch slurry and drizzle it into the sauce, letting it thicken until it coats a spoon. Simmer for an additional 20 seconds to ensure the cornstarch is cooked. Turn the heat off, pour the sauce over your steak, and serve with rice.

Mexican Rice

3 tablespoons oil
2 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice (450g)
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, or water + 1 bouillon cube (710 ml)
2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1 cup plain tomato sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

First, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir constantly until the rice begins to turn golden brown. The toastier your rice, the tastier it will be (information gleaned from my friend, via her grandma of course).

Next, add the chicken stock. The mixture will bubble up, and should be followed immediately by the tomato paste or tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and salt.

Bring to a boil, stirring the tomato paste to dissolve it if using, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Immediately turn the heat down to low and set a timer for 20 minutes.

During or when the rice is done cooking, you may want to check moisture levels. If you smell a hint of a burnt scent, your heat is too high! In this scenario, if the rice is cooked, remove from the heat. If it’s not cooked, lower the heat, and add water ½ cup at a time to continue the cooking process. If it’s too wet, leave the lid slightly ajar or off the pan entirely.

When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork and serve

Mapo Tofu

1/2 cup oil (divided)
1-2 fresh Thai bird chili peppers (thinly sliced)
6-8 dried red chilies (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns (coarsely ground, plus 1/4 teaspoon for garnish at the end)
3 tablespoons ginger (finely minced)
3 tablespoons garlic (finely minced)
8 ounces ground pork (225g)
1-2 tablespoons spicy bean sauce (depending on your desired salt/spice levels)
2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth (or water)
1 pound silken tofu (450g, cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 scallion (finely chopped)

First, we toast the chilies. If you have homemade toasted chili oil, you can skip this step. Heat your wok or a small saucepan over low heat. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and throw in the fresh and dried peppers. Stir occasionally and heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes, ensuring that the peppers don’t burn. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in your wok over medium heat. Add your ground Sichuan peppercorns and stir occasionally for 30 seconds. Add the ginger. After 1 minute, add the garlic. Fry for another minute, and then turn up the heat to high and add the ground pork. Break up the meat and fry it until it’s cooked through.

Add the spicy bean sauce to the mixture and stir it in well. Add 2/3 cups of chicken broth to the wok and stir. Let this simmer for a minute or so. While that’s happening, ready your tofu and also put a ¼ cup of water in a small bowl with your cornstarch and mix until thoroughly combined.

Add the cornstarch mixture to your sauce and stir. Let it bubble away until the sauce starts to thicken. (If it gets too thick, splash in a little more water or chicken stock.)

Then add your chili oil from before—peppers and all! Stir the oil into the sauce, and add the tofu. Use your spatula to gently toss the tofu in the sauce. Let everything cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the sesame oil and sugar (if using) along with the scallions and stir until the scallions are just wilted.

Serve with a last sprinkle of Sichuan peppercorn powder as a garnish if desired.

Ginger Chicken

3 scallions (cut into 2-inch long pieces, with the white and green parts separated)
4 cloves garlic (cut in half)
6 slices ginger (1/4 inch thick)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (can substitute canola oil or avocado oil)
24 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs (680g, cut into 1-inch chunks)
3 shallots (cut into quarters)
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons oyster sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Using a cleaver, lightly smash the white parts of the scallions, the garlic, and the ginger (use a firmer hand on the ginger). This releases the flavors of the aromatics for a more flavorful dish.

Spread the canola oil around the perimeter of the wok, and heat it until it just starts smoking. Add the smashed ginger slices, and fry for 15 seconds.

Spread the chicken pieces in a single layer in the wok. Sear for 45 seconds. Flip them and fry the other side for another 30 seconds.

Add in the white parts of the scallions, garlic, and shallots. Continue to stir-fry over high heat, mixing everything together for another 30 seconds.

Add the Shaoxing wine, and stir-fry again for 20 seconds. Next, add in the chicken stock, brown sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper, and oyster sauce (optional, but it’ll give the dish a nice additional flavor!). Cover and continue to cook on high heat for 5 minutes.

Remove the cover, and cook for another 7 minutes to reduce the liquid. Mix in the green parts of the scallions, and then immediately stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken the sauce. Add more cornstarch slurry if you like a thicker sauce.

Stir-Fry Sauce for Any Meat and Vegetable

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable or mushroom stock; 350ml)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (can sub gluten-free soy sauce or tamari)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or vegetarian or gluten-free oyster sauce)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a jar with a tight lid (must hold 2 cups of liquid), combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients together and shake well.

This sauce should keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator; all you need to do is measure and pour out what you need for your dish.

Makes enough sauce for about 3 dishes. Nutrition info is for one out of twelve servings of sauce, assuming that there are 4 servings per dish

HOW TO USE THIS STIR-FRY SAUCE:

1. MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN:

Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

2. PREPARE AROMATICS:

Mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths.

3. SLICE VEGETABLES:

Prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

4. PREPARE YOUR THICKENER:

2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

5. SEAR MEAT:

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

HOW TO USE THIS STIR-FRY SAUCE:

1. MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN:

Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2. PREPARE AROMATICS:

I like to cut my aromatics fresh, so I will mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths if I have some.

3. SLICE VEGETABLES:

I’ll prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

4. PREPARE YOUR THICKENER:

2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

5. SEAR MEAT:

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

Searing Meat in Wok, thewoksoflife.com

6. ASSEMBLE STIR-FRY

Add another tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and ginger. (If you also sliced scallions, you can add the white parts of the scallion at this stage.)

After a few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute or until just softened.

Add about 2/3 cup of stir fry sauce (more or less depending on how much sauce you like), and heat until simmering.

And add in the seared meat.

Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon (you may need a little more or a little less cornstarch slurry depending on how much sauce you added and how high your heat is). Add the green parts of your scallions (if using), and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.

Serve over rice.

Daikon Radish with Ginger

1 pound daikon radish (about 450 g)
1 slice ginger
1 cup water or stock (235 ml)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (16 g)
1/2 teaspoon salt (about 2 g, or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon sugar (about 1 g)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 scallion (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Cut the daikon into half-inch thick, bite-sized pieces. In a pot, add 1 slice ginger, 1 cup water or stock (235ml), 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (16 g), 1/2 teaspoon salt (2 g), 1/4 teaspoon sugar (1 g), 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (a large pinch), and stir to combine. Add the daikon.

Cover and bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 20 minutes until the daikon is folk tender, stirring occasionally.

Right before serving, add in the chopped scallion, and a few drops of sesame oil (optional). Mix well and serve!