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Chicken w/ Garlic & Snap Peas - 1st Wok Cook

jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 890
edited November 2012 in EggHead Forum
We interrupt all this turkey talk for a little wok talk. I did my first wok cook and I'd like to thank the folks here who have helped me and in particular @Village_Idiot. Thanks man, you helped me get up and crawling. At first I didn't think I was going to be wokking for a while. My wok from the Wok Shop was scheduled to be delivered Saturday. As of 9PM Saturday there was no wok, but FedExt Ground said it was delivered at 7:25 PM. I filled a claim on Sunday and they told me it would be Tuesday before they would begin the investigation. How's that for customer service? I went out my Kitchen door Monday at 11 AM and almost tripped over the box. There was no note so I'm not sure wether a neighbor had it or FedEx.

OK so while I was making my turkey brine last night I seasoned the wok. In case some people are thinking of getting a wok I figured I'd post a few pictures to show you how easy the seasoning process is.

Today for lunch I made a recipe from The Breath of a Wok called Chicken with Garlic & Sugar Snaps. I'll let the pictures tell the story and I will cut to the chase. I am very very pleased with my first attempt, I wasn't sure if it was out of my league. But it is definitely doable and while I have lots to learn I am feeling very excited about the prospects. The taste was wonderful, the texture was amazing too. All the veggies were soft but yet crispy. I had no issues controlling the heat on the wok and I'm sure all the Dutch oven cooks helped me there. The only thing I need to improve on is the sauce didn't thicken as much as I expected. But for a first attempt I am psyched.

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The first step was to hand was my new 16" hand hammered carbon steel wok in the sink with lots of hot water & dish washing soap. This is the only time you use soap on the wok. The next step was to dry the wok and coat it with oil. I used peanut oil. The wok goes into a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.



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The wok is out of the oven & has a golden brown color from the time in the oven, The stove is on high & I will add some peanut oil.



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The wok and oil are heated and the next step is to cook up a batch of Chines chives. They will help remove any metallic taste.



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The Chinese chives are cooked until all of them are charred. There was still a few more minutes to go here.



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The Egg is lit for my inaugural wok cook. The spider is already in and resting on the fire ring.



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The ingredients are all gathered and sliced up. the recipe used chicken thighs, garlic, thin sliced baby carrots, snap peas, sliced bamboo shoots, baby corn, corn starch, table salt, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, vegetable oil, dry sherry, chicken broth & sugar.



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The Egg is stabilized at 550 degrees. Time to put the wok in the spider and heat up the wok.



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Let the Games Begin! All of the ingredients are outside, The wok is heated so it time to start.



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The first step is to add some vegetable oil and the  minced garlic plus the chicken, soy sauce, corn starch, sherry, sugar & salt which were mixed together in the Kitchen earlier and left to marinate a little.



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The chicken is puled off when it is just about cooked. It gets put in a bowl for later use.



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After adding a little vegetable oil the snap peas, carrots, bamboo shoots & baby corn are stir-fried.



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The veggies are done,



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The chicken, plus some soy sauce and the beef broth are the last things added. After stir-frying for about 2 minutes it is time to eat.



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The stir-fry has been plated and topped with some drizzled sesame oil. I served some brown rice with the meal.



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The smell in the Dining Room was incredible....



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The taste was even better!!


I've been really looking forward to this day, but I am even more excited about doing some of my Thanksgiving cooking/baking on the Egg in tow days. I hope everyone has a super Thanksgiving.

Jim

BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

Middlesex County, MA
Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count

Comments

  • RACRAC Posts: 1,263
    Man that look's good. A wok is on my list.

    Ricky

    Spring, TX

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 6,476
    As usual...looks great Jim!  Great pics and definitely motivates me to finally season my wok.
    Just a hack that makes some shitty BBQ...
  • Looks darned good to me. 

    I never pull anything, just cook away, and usually with the meat in at a later step, and suspect I make mine a bit wetter, but you need to find what is right for you and yours.

    Results are what matters, and yours looks tasty. 
    Pasquali Luciano
    Buon appetito to all the BGE family
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE and lots of toys

  • If I didn't know better, I would have thought you've done hundreds of stir frys.  Congratulations, Jim.  You're there !!!!!
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    Looks good, Jim.  I do my wok cooking in stages also.

    If you ever wondered how that chicken or beef gets so tender and "silky" at a Chinese restaurant, they have a little trick - they sprinkle a little baking soda on the meat and let it sit for a while before cooking.  Try it some time.

    If you want that "smokey" wok hei taste - you have to have dry food and a HOT wok, and you can't cook too much at once or you'll cool the wok down.  So staging it helps a lot there.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 890
    Thanks guys, I'm just knocking at the door but I feel confident I can do this. 

    I followed the recipe to the letter. When I am doing something new or even doing a recipe for a type of food that is an old favorite, I do it as written first time out. 

    I was pleased how fast my new carbon steel wok heated on the Egg and how well the spider worked holding it in place. I tested the heat by sprinkling water on it and the drops vaporized in about a second. When I get a little more comfortable stir-frying I will start raising my temperature.

    Thanks @Village_Idiot. Where you are the resident wok expert around here  your compliment means a lot. I will respectfully disagree on the "Your there" part, but I feel like I can get there with some more practice and the journey is well worth the effort.

    @nolaegghead: I will definitely give your baking soda trick a try once I've established a baseline.


    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947
    edited November 2012
    There seems to be some differences of opinions in deciding whether to pull the meat during the cook or not.

    The logic to pulling the meat is that it normally takes more time to cook the meat than the vegetables (shrimp being an exception), and if you add the meat towards the end of the cook - by the time it is cooked, the vegetables will be overcooked. If you add the meat at the beginning of the cook and don't pull it, the meat will be overcooked.  The incredible taste of wok hei can only be achieved by quickly cooking of the vegetables over high heat so that they retain their crispness and flavor.  It's the difference between "that was good" and "OMG" that we've all experienced in Chinese restaurants.  YMMV.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • Once again Jim it looks great and you took awesome pictures while woking at 550. Very impressed sir!
    LBGE
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,692
    IMHO - saucing it puts so much heat into the food you could probably skip the sear step and throw the food in raw.  A lot of the stuff you see in stir fry can take a lot of cooking - the baby corn, water chestnuts, mushrooms - you could probably cook those all day and they wouldn't change texture much.  And they don't need much cooking because they're usually canned.  

    So a lot of latitude there, all depends on what it is.  VI - is right - the wok hei gives you the OMG factor.  One place in town had a cook that was a master.  Place went out of business when he died. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    Looks great! I think I drooled on my keyboard!  

     In the future if you need to season your wok or cast iron, you can season them in your egg to keep the metal/oil smell out of the kitchen.
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,609
    Looks great Jim! Reminds me that I need to try some more cooks out of that book.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs
    Bay Area, CA
  • Dyal_SCDyal_SC Posts: 1,885
    What an excellent cook!  You're going to LOVE the wok!!!  :D  I cannot for the life of me figure out how your gasket looks like new still!!  LOL  I just replaced mine with the new high temp gasket a few weeks ago, and it already looks worse than yours!  :)
    2014 Co-Wing King
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 890
    edited November 2012
    Thanks Dyal, I already do love it!

    As for my high-temperature gasket, I didn't get the BGE model. That is the one that is sold by High Que, the same people that make a replacement fire grate for the Egg. The gasket is said to be Nomex and the other thing I liked about it is there is adhesive tape on the backside so you didn't have to spray it with contact cement like you did with some of the other replacement gaskets.

    I put that in in early October and I have about 40 cooks on it, including one that went up near 900°, and it still looks brand-new. This is opposed to the wall factory gasket that I burned out on my third cook making pizza.
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,589
    =D> Nobody would know it was your first stir fry if you didn't tell  them. Nicely done, Sir.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • Jim, Thanks for the great post with pictures, I'm sold on trying the wok. Can you tell me which wok you ordered.

    Thanks, Jim

     

  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 890
    Sorry I missed this comment. I ordered the 16" D-handled Chinese made hand hammered carbon steel wok from the Wok Shop in San Francisco.

    http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/woks/wok-hh-2mtl-handles.html
    BBQ Website: grillin' & smokin'

    Middlesex County, MA
    Three Large BGE's & Too Many Eggcessories to Count
  • @jfm0830, Jim - missed this, Enjoy your wok. Tip from my Taiwanese friends advise if you are doing a single dish, and the recipe allows, try and do the protein (meat) last. it does tend to stick a touch in the pan. Do the veggies first, done half way they will continue to cook under cover on a plate as you do the meat. Add them back to warm and meld the flavors. 

    A tip on oil, we use good old canola or veggie oil (in a pinch corn), peanut is excellent, but for most of us just not required, EVOO - never. 
    A touch of sesame oil when doing ginger and garlic for the sauce is ideal, this is very difficult in an egg based wok as the heat is too high to get the oil, garlic and ginger to lightly brown and become aromatic without burning. Try making sauce ahead in a saucepan, add completed sauce to the wok with all the veggies and meat just before serving. 

    Enjoy, a whole new way of cooking. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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