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Apron Diaries

Wok This Way 
Jan. 13, 2009 8:29 pm 
Updated: May 14, 2009 12:09 am
I had a wok-free kitchen until a couple of years ago. If you just snorted in disbelief, I don’t blame you. What’s worse is I’m mostly Asian. I know. Let’s move on.

If you’re a true believer and already rock the wok, you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s become one of my kitchen essentials. And I’ve barely explored all the ways you can cook with it. I especially love how the deep, sloping sides make it easy to toss ingredients around without flinging them out of the pot. A real plus if you’re like me and think cleaning up afterwards is punishment for cooking in the first place.

Last night my wok and I turned leftovers into dinner. Here’s what we did with what I found in the fridge:

4 slices bacon, diced
3 green onions, sliced
3 cups cooked rice
A couple of cooked chicken thighs, shredded
2 fresh eggs
Big head of broccoli.

Fry bacon in the wok over medium low heat until almost crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove all but three or four tablespoons of bacon grease. Turn up heat to medium high, add green onions to bacon in hot wok, and fry for one minute. Add rice and shredded chicken. Toss everything together until rice is sizzling hot. Push the rice up the sides of the wok to clear a bare space in the center of the wok. Crack the two fresh eggs into the center and stir to scramble. When eggs are softly scrambled, stir them into the rice. Season the whole thing with salt, pepper, and a bit of soy sauce to taste.

Cook the broccoli whichever way you like (steamed, roasted, whatever) and serve over hot fried rice.  Serves 2 to 3.

When my Filipino/Chinese mom came for a visit, she rolled her eyes at me when I told her I finally got a wok. What can I say? I’m a late wokker.

How about you? Do you love your wok? Do you use it for anything other than Asian food? I’d love to hear from you.

Happy cooking!
Jan. 13, 2009 9:05 pm
Sounds good!... love your kitty by the way!
Jan. 14, 2009 1:19 am
LOL! I have a really nice one that my BIL gave me. He got it for his wedding, only used it once & asked if I wanted it. I rarely pull it out, but you are making me want to!
Jan. 14, 2009 6:23 am
I used to use mine frequently, and yes, only for Asian stir fry dishes! Haven't in a while, though...I got more use out of it when I had a gas stove. It still works on my electric stove, but I still prefer to cook over fire, especially with a wok. Just seems "right" to me! That meal sounds wonderful!
Jan. 14, 2009 8:04 am
I love my wok! I make a pot of rice noodles and toss them with a little oil before I put them in the fridge. It's so easy to put some chopped up veggies in the wok, and throw in the noodles--it works best if they're not freshly cooked. Depending on the noodles, I get veggie yakisoba or veggie chow mein! Toss with some toasted sesame seeds and it's a one-wok meal!
Jan. 14, 2009 10:09 am
Hi! Thanks for your comments! Fried rice is my version of fast food. And I've found that it works out best if the rice is at least a day old. Freshly cooked rice just gets too gummy. So when I make rice for any meal, I always make enough so I'll have leftovers for fried rice. Jenny H, I love your idea for noodles and veg. I'm going to give that a try. Thanks!
Jan. 15, 2009 9:07 am
I too went refrigerator diving the other night for my fried rice using roast duck leftovers. I didn't have bacon so I removed the fatty skin from the roast duck, fried it until lightly crispy and used the duck fat instead of bacon grease for frying together the rest of the ingredients (a trick I may have picked up in a certain foodelicious kitchen). I also used some of the roast duck drippings to season the rice (in addition to a little salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste) Wok on!
May 14, 2009 12:09 am
My mom is Japanese, my father is Mexican. I use my wok to make fried rice. I also use it when making filling for ground beef tacos, chili, spaghetti sauce. It's great because the sides of the wok are higher than a frying pan.
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Two working adults and a kid in school. Someone has to cook and that someone is usually me. *sigh*
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I cook, they clean up after me. It's the kind of tradition I can fully embrace.
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No one has asked me to stop yet.
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When I was 13, I made pecan rolls for my family. The recipe called for 8 refrigerator biscuits but the package held 10. My mom asked me what I did with the other 2. Judging from the look on her face, "I threw them away" wasn't the right answer.
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