Cooking with Family Flavours

Wok Wonders

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By Sheela Sheth, Food Expert

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Contrary to my Indian cuisine, with slow cooking and delicate stirring, Asian cooking requires high temperature and instant flipping. Nevertheless, the crispness of stir-fries and the exotic vegetables that go into making a meal in minutes have made Thai curries and pineapple-fried-rice a favourite in our family. Here are a couple of my recipes using the wok.

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Veggie Stir-fry

Ingredients

1 medium broccoli head

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 cup bok Choy, sliced (with stalk)

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 red pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2cm ginger, finely chopped

2 tbsp sweet and sour sauce

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Directions

  1. Heat oil in a wok and add ginger and garlic
  2. Add onion and cook until translucent
  3. Add all the above vegetables and toss
  4. Add the sweet and sour sauce tossing a few more times
  5. Serve hot with plain white rice

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Stir-fry Beans

(To complement any main dish)

Ingredients

500g fresh green beans

6 garlic cloves

2 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp ketchup

1 tsp vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

Crushed pepper or chilli flakes to taste

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Directions

  1. Heat the wok, add the crushed garlic and stir for two seconds
  2. Stir-fry beans, tossing them a few times
  3. Prepare a mixture of cornflour in half a cup of water, adding ketchup, vinegar and soy sauce
  4. Pour the mixture and sprinkle chilli flakes on beans just before removing the wok from the  heat and gently stir
  5. Transfer the beans to a serving platter to complement any main dish

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Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients

½ cup pineapple chunks (medium size)

1 cup onion, diced

4 cups cooked jasmine rice

½ carrot, diced

½ cup red bell peppers, diced

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup spring onion, finely cut

2 eggs

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine

2 tbsp sesame oil

White pepper and salt to taste

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Directions

  1. Prep all the above ingredients. Scramble the eggs then set them aside
  2. Heat wok with two tablespoons of oil and add onions until translucent
  3. Add carrots until half cooked, followed by bell peppers and frozen peas, flipping a few times
  4. Add cooked rice to the veggies, rice wine, fish sauce and soy sauce, mixing gently
  5. Add the scrambled eggs
  6. Add the pineapple pieces and toss
  7. Serve hot

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Sheela’s kitchen confidentials

  • Never overcrowd your wok as it cools down the process and creates a stew rather than a stir-fry
  • Use oils that have high smoke points (200°C or higher) like almond oil, corn oil, canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil
  • Always marinate meats before stir-frying
  • Use Jasmine rice for Asian cooking
  • Carved out pineapple halves make a perfect serving plate

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You can contact Sheela Sheth at reply2sheela@yahoo.com