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The Breath of a Wok

Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Throug

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Description

Award-winning author Grace Young celebrates and demystifies the art of wok cooking for the Western home cook.

Young’s fascination with wok cooking began in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where her father taught her to appreciate wok hay, the elusive and prized taste that food achieves when cooked in a wok. As an adult, her quest to reproduce that extraordinary taste sent her on a journey through America, Hong Kong, and China, where she gathered stories, recipes, and advice from home cooks, professional chefs, and culinary teachers. The result is not just a cookbook but a unique documentation of a way of life: wok cooking is not just about recipes, but about cultivating and cooking with all the senses, and about perpetuating one of the world’s oldest culinary traditions.

Beginning with the selection, seasoning, and care of a wok, Young elucidates the secrets of wok hay and offers 120 recipes ranging from simple to complex, including favorites like Kung Pao Chicken and Moo Shoo Pork as well as unusual dishes like Tofu with Cilantro Relish and Stir-Fried Garlic Lettuce. Young also offers menu suggestions for family-style meals and Chinese New Year celebrations, plus a comprehensive glossary and resource list. Illustrated with 150 photographs by acclaimed photographer Alan Richardson, The Breath of a Wok is an extraordinary culinary adventure.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jun 21, 2004 – Among Chinese cookbooks, this one is unusual. It doesn't strive for comprehensiveness or focus on a regional cuisine. Instead, it analyzes that sacred object of the Chinese kitchen: the wok. The wok's "breath" is the heat rising from the sizzling instrument as a dish is finished, but also much more, according to Young (The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen). She offers a profound meditation on the wok's spiritual place, as well as its history and uses. As such, the book may be appreciated as a work of food scholarship as well as a cookbook. Nearly half of it concerns wok arcana, from an assessment of the best wok for a home kitchen to half a dozen "recipes" for seasoning a new wok (like Mr. Wen's Chinese Chive Rub). Naturally, the majority of the recipes are for stir-fries, such as the familiar Kung Pao Chicken. Usually, Young takes great care to attribute her recipes to her sources (e.g., Mary Chau's Shanghai-Style Snow Cabbage and Edamame). Those sources are refreshingly varied, including home cooks, like the author's many female relations, and well-known names like Martin Yan and writer Amy Tan. Although this is by no means a definitive Chinese cookbook, its elegance and meditative outlook make it a welcome gift. Photos.
The Breath of a Wok
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  • $18.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Cookbooks, Food & Wine
  • Published: Jun 25, 2013
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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