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Chris Hennes

Cooking with "Stir-frying to the Sky's Edge" (Grace Young)

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I found the recipe for the Ginger Beef online and made it tonight. I enjoyed it, but found the beef still did not have the seared texture I wanted. I'm attributing this to the fact it was cooked in a 12" skillet on a crappy electric burner, not a wok. I will try and Beef and Broccoli tomorrow.

Once I find a good stir fry I really like I'm gonna try Alton Brown's method with a wok over a charcoal fire.

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I had pretty good success in my pre-Big Kahuna days using a skillet on an electric stove: just make sure you let it preheat until very hot, and don't add too much to the pan all at once. And hope your ventilation can keep up! I set off the fire alarm on more than one occasion...

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Yeah, I added way to much beef at once. Gonna make a smaller portion tomorrow. I still feel like something was missing from that dish.

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Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken (pp. 140–141)

So that the regional affiliations are clear, here are Young's comments on the dish:

Irene Khin Wong, owner of Saffron 59 Catering in New York City and a native of Myanmar (formerly Burma), taught me this recipe, one of her signature dishes. Wong's parents were both born in Myanmar but her father's family was originally from Guangzhou, China. [...] This recipe reflects the fusion of Chinese, Burmese, and Indian cuisines.

I enjoyed the flavor combination, though I was a bit surprised by the way the chile powder is added at the very end, off the heat. I am used to taking nearly the opposite approach, and letting the powder toast and incorporate more into the dish, instead of treating it as a last-minute seasoning. I don't know which region's cooking that is representative of: anyone? And Prawncrackers, so you don't think I am missing my vegetables: this dish has way more vegetable than meat, so I didn't think it was necessary to prepare a side dish :smile:.

Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken.jpg

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Five-Spice Chicken with Sugar Snaps (p. 120)

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Sichuan Pepper and Salt (p. 189)

First off, thanks to those who gave me the advice about the Sichuan Pepper: I removed the little beads and just toasted and ground the husks, which worked perfectly: no grittiness, and plenty of flavor. The pepper is tossed with the bok choy and carrots as they are quickly stir-fried: not a complex dish, but a good one. The chicken dish was also good: I used a homemade five-spice powder based on a recipe I found on the forums here, and it was very good. The dish tasted first of the five-spice powder, then of the dark soy, which is a nice combination, and very flavorful. Overall I thought it worked well as a counterpoint to the relatively mild bok choi.

(For those of you who mocked my use of the mandolin in the first stir fry: I julienned these carrots by hand just for you! (yeah, OK, my knife skills need work...) :smile:)

Five-Spice Chicken with Sugar Snaps.jpg

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Sichuan Pepper and Salt.jpg

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Chris: Try slicing the carrots on a diagonal. Leave the slices in the shape of the carrot as you slice, then pat them down, still in the "shape of the carrot" then julienne. I find that much easier then stacking the slice then cutting.

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Yes, that's the method I use. Works a trick, and it's really fast.

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If you mean like a slightly spread deck of cards, then that is the way I do it, too. Also -- you can cheat and get the shredded carrots in the packages from the supermarket. It is what I usually use when I make Dry-Fried Beef -- Gan Bian Niu Rou Si.

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Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts with Chili Bean Sauce (p. 200)

I tried this once before, but used sub-standard sprouts, so I gave it another go tonight to much better effect. The flavor of the sprouts is predominant, as it should be, but it means that overall the dish is fairly mild: the sauce recedes pretty far into the background. Still, a well-flavored and visually attractive vegetable side. (The rest of the meal was a stir-fried pork and rice, for those keeping track of these things)

Bean sprouts.jpg

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