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LYL: Wok-Seared Vegetables

Spring has sprung, and we’re ready with our latest Wok Wednesdays recipe: Wok-Seared Vegetables. Asparagus is at its prime in many parts of the country, and this is the perfect recipe to take advantage of its availability.

What did you think? Leave your thoughts, along with a link to your blog post if you wrote one.


17 responses »

    • Beautiful photos Cathleen. And you are right. The kinpira would make the carrots too thin. The size should be thicker than the kinpira julienne so that the carrots still have some crunch after stir-frying.

  1. Finally, a recipe I don’t have to change! 🙂

    • Mitchell, I’m relieved you could experience a recipe from Sky without having to make any adjustments.

  2. Still catching up. Like the last one, this one came at a good time to use some fresh local asparagus. Had I read the comments above I would have known not to use the Kinpira peeler for the carrots, but it worked out OK for me…

    • I’m a little confused. Did you use the grill to stir-fry the beef and the gas butane burner to stir-fry the asparagus? Is this gas butane the one you got from The Wok Shop? Love seeing the stir-fry with the grass in the background. Gorgeous!

      • Thanks! And yes, that’s what I did. The grill was busy with the salmon, so I did the veggie stir-fry at the same time using the stove. I could have just done the stir-fry real quick on the grill after the salmon was done and resting — not sure why I didn’t! That is the butane stove I got from Tane. She’s the best — I had actually placed an order for a different model and she called to tell me I’d probably prefer this one and it has worked great.

      • Rob, does the gas burner get as hot as the grill? And which brand did you end up buying?

      • I got the Iwatani brand. I don’t see it on the Wok Shop website, so that’s probably why I had ordered a different one. I think it’s 13,000 BTU?

        I’m sure the gas stove doesn’t get as hot as the grill, but a direct comparison is hard because I’ve never used the same wok on both setups (the carbon steel has never been on the grill and the cast iron has never been used on the stove). I do have an infrared thermometer I use to measure pizza oven temps, so I’ll try to remember to do some comparisons of the wok temps with the different setups during my next few stir-fries.

        It seems to me the problem isn’t getting the woks up to temp initially — even my electric stovetop seems to get the wok plenty hot enough to start the stir-fry. The difference is how the woks react when the food has been added and the temp drops. The carbon steel on the gas stove performs better than the carbon steel on the electric stove. And the cast iron on the grill performs best (it’s hard to tell if that thing even cools down at all when the food is added!).

      • Wait, I don’t need to measure the temps… Kenji already did it for me! I just remembered this article (link below). He compares the temps throughout the cooking process between a cast iron skillet on a gas stove, a carbon steel wok on a gas stove, and a round-bottom carbon steel wok on a charcoal grill. (He also tries a wok on a chimney starter, but I’ve never done that.)

        His conclusion was that the grill setup was the closest you could get to a restaurant scenario at home, and his graphs show the performance difference. The grill wok is only a little hotter at the beginning of the cook, but the temperature rebounds much faster and through much of the stir-fry it remains nearly 100 degrees hotter than the other setups. Data!

        I will try to do similar temp readings when I have a helper with me, and I’ll see if my results agree with Kenji’s. I think they will just based on the way my stir-fries have gone.

      • Thanks for reminding me of the Seriouseats post by Kenji. When you set up in the grill is it with charcoal and you’re nestling the wok into the charcoal or is the wok set on the rack? I have yet to buy a infrared thermometer. It’s great that we compare temp readings. Looking forward to hearing about your results the next time you fire up your wok. Enjoy your weekend.

      • Thanks, Grace. You have a great weekend, too! Mine has already been pretty good — Thomas the Train & BBQ. Ha ha.

        My wok/grill setup is identical to Kenji’s (although I didn’t see his post until much later). Weber sells a grill grate with a circular cutout that a wok can sit in. They also sell their own cast iron wok along with it. You can see how I used that setup way back in my 7/25/12 Kung Pao Chicken post. At the time I thought I was just doing it for fun — didn’t realize that there was such a good reason to use the grill (I feel silly when I read what I wrote back then). If you scroll down to the next post, I had already taken your advice to try a cast iron wok nd you can see the difference between the two.

        So, the woks sit above the coals, but the round bottom is pretty close to the coals — it drops down below the level of the grill grate. Sometimes if my fire doesn’t seem hot enough, I’ll add a couple chunks of hickory because they flame up fast and then there is a true flame wrapping up from the bottom around the sides of the wok. If I get the right number of coals for the weather and the right timing, the wood chunks aren’t necessary, though. I’m looking forward to the thermometer tests!

  3. Jessica roggers

    Get this no-contact infrared thermometer that delivers quick, easy, and accurate readings. Just point and shoot this Smart Sensor device for temperature readings within two degrees.


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