The Wok: Recipes and Techniques by J. Kenji López-Alt

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Quick / easy; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: light soy sauce; Shaoxing rice wine; neutral oil of your choice
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: whole chicken
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: chicken breasts
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: chicken thighs
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken thighs
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course; American; Chinese
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts; light soy sauce; Shaoxing rice wine; roasted sesame oil; dark soy sauce; rice vinegar; neutral oil of your choice; fresh ginger; dried red chiles; zucchini; red peppers; scallions; peanuts
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: bell peppers
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: celery
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts; Shaoxing rice wine; light soy sauce; honey; Chinkiang vinegar; neutral oil of your choice; dried red chiles; Sichuan peppercorns; garlic; fresh ginger; scallions; roasted peanuts
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: scallions
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: fresh ginger
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course; Thai
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts; fish sauce; white pepper; dried red pepper flakes; neutral oil of your choice; garlic; fresh ginger; shallots; basil
    • Categories: How to...; Quick / easy
    • Ingredients: liquid of your choice; egg whites; meat of your choice
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course; American; Chinese
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts; light soy sauce; Shaoxing rice wine; egg whites; canned pineapple; tomato ketchup; distilled white vinegar; red peppers; green peppers; white onions; garlic; fresh ginger
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course; American; Chinese
    • Ingredients: light soy sauce; Shaoxing rice wine; egg whites; canned pineapple; tomato ketchup; distilled white vinegar; red peppers; green peppers; white onions; garlic; fresh ginger; pork loin
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts; Shaoxing rice wine; egg whites; sugar snap peas; light soy sauce; roasted sesame oil; neutral oil of your choice; lemons; fresh ginger; scallions
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts; Shaoxing rice wine; egg whites; light soy sauce; white pepper; neutral oil of your choice; fresh ginger; button mushrooms; canned water chestnuts
    • Categories: Stir-fries; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts; Shaoxing rice wine; light soy sauce; Chinkiang vinegar; neutral oil of your choice; carrots; long green chiles; bamboo shoots; fresh ginger; scallions; doubanjiang; cilantro; Thai bird chiles; garlic; distilled white vinegar
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Chutneys, pickles & relishes; Cooking ahead; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Thai bird chiles; distilled white vinegar
    • Categories: How to...
    • Ingredients: pork loin
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course; Chinese
    • Ingredients: pork loin; white pepper; Shaoxing rice wine; light soy sauce; roasted sesame oil; neutral oil of your choice; yellow chives; fresh ginger
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Stir-fries; Main course; Korean
    • Ingredients: pork belly; gochujang; light soy sauce; roasted sesame oil; kimchi; neutral oil of your choice; onions; jalapeño chiles

Notes about this book

  • Fyretigger on April 23, 2022

    I've started cooking from this book and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's gas stove hack to give you a wok burner, from his YouTube channel totally works! At least on my 12 year old GE Adora gas range: I'll admit it's a little scary to use at first, and you have to remember there's a blowtorch going on top of your stove when moving the pan off the flame, but it cooked great! I'm really enjoying this book. Like Food Lab, it stresses techniques over recipes, but is still generous in recipes. There is a lot "or whatever firm green vegetable you have lying around" and "or use whatever hot sauce you have in the fridge." A number of recipes include the Chinese American version and the traditional version (and JKLA has reverence for both styles). I'm essentially reading the technique and description portions of the book a cover-to-cover read, though I am glossing over areas I doubt I'll use (I can't see myself making congee).

  • mjes on March 09, 2022

    It's finally arrived many months after I ordered it based on a food-segment interview on my favorite NPR station. There are many recipes I can hardly wait to try recipes such as stir-fried eggplant with sake and miso. I appreciate recipes that are quick and easy, especially for side dishes. It is preceded by two pages on garlic and how to prepare it for stir-fries with 9 photos. Yes, directions are that specific. Techniques in the title should be taken very literally. Another fascinating recipe is sanshoku don (three-color rice bowls) as a true make-ahead meal/snack. The toppings may be stored in the refrigerator and warmed solely from the hot rice under them. Then there are the classics - Pad Thai is one of several Thai-style recipes; Bi Bim Bap represents Korean recipes; Moo Shu Pork comes with the suggestion it is not a crime to use tortillas rather than making Mandarin pancakes. This is a book anyone with an interest in East and Southeast Asian food should at least look over.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Miso-glazed broiled black cod

    • JoanN on May 03, 2022

      Made the rice bowl with this and liked it a great deal. Can also do it with salmon, but the black cod was really special. I marinated the fish for maybe three hours; would marinate a little longer if I had the time but three hours was still excellent. He accompanies the rice bowl with sliced cucumber, pickled ginger, scallions grilled along with the fish, and sesame seeds. Next time I'd either dress or quick pickle the cucumber; it could have used some oomph. And I'd drizzle some of the leftover marinade over the rice before serving. It was so good, no reason not to get more of that flavor throughout the dish.

    • SheilaS on September 21, 2023

      I like this a lot. Marinating the fish overnight is a nice little gift to your future self as it makes for such a quick and delicious dinner the next day. When I put the rice to cook, I slice the cucumbers and toss them with the pickled ginger and a bit of vinegar from the jar of ginger or extra rice vinegar, pop them back into the fridge and by the time everything is ready, they're lightly pickled. The green parts of the scallions got reduced to ash after 10 min of broil time so I put the white parts in at the beginning and add the green ends at the 5 minute mark.

    • patioweather on March 27, 2023

      With a fat mahi mahi, it took longer than 10 minutes but was delicious.

  • Pork and shrimp dumplings

    • JoanN on December 25, 2022

      I made these with a package of frozen "Mix" that had been left over after making it for the Egg Fried Rice. Cooked them potsticker style and served them as an appetizer for Christmas Eve. Very pleased with the result.

  • Cantonese pepper and salty shrimp

    • JoanN on May 14, 2022

      This was a fussier recipe than any I’ve made before but it was worth every bit of effort. The salt and pepper blend looks like dirt resulting in a not-very-photogenic finished dish, but when it tastes this good, who cares? I debated whether or not to serve it on rice, but I had some left over in the fridge so went with it. Glad I did. It was a way to scarf down all the aromatics. I started out eating the shells, but they weren’t quite as crispy as I would have liked. Ended up just sucking off most of the spices then peeling and eating the shrimp. Delicious.

  • Chicken with basil, chiles, and fish sauce

    • IvyManning on April 20, 2022

      Though the velveting technique is nifty, the flavor of this dish is really bland. There's none of the hot-salry-sour-sweet flavor I love about Thai food. Author says to add fish sauce, Chile flakes, and sugar to taste, but then it really gets unbalanced. It could use some lime. Going back to my Thai teachers recipe for this dish.

    • Fyretigger on September 03, 2023

      As pictured, the dish includes what looks like Fresno chiles, while the recipe calls for red pepper flakes. I opted to use Fresno chiles and was happy with the results. Another note suggests it's missing lime juice, and it might benefit from that. If you have it, I would also use palm sugar in place of table sugar, though I didn't think to do that.

  • Stir-fried new potatoes with hot and numbing spices

    • SheilaS on September 04, 2023

      I found this to be pleasantly spicy and just a little numbing. My first-printing copy of the book omitted the 2 Tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds from the list of ingredients.

  • Hot and numbing spice blend

    • SheilaS on September 04, 2023

      My first-printing copy of this book omits the 2 Tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds from the ingredient list, though the recipe does specify when to add them.

  • Brined shrimp for stir-fries

    • mlbatt on May 24, 2022

      This brine turns even imported frozen Costco shrimp into something quite special. Great texture, even when slightly overcooked (used the shrimp in a Rick Bayless rice recipe that uses a rice cooker). I've got the formula saved on my fridge, because I now use it every time I cook shrimp!

  • Smoky bok choy with garlic sauce

    • Emily Hope on March 31, 2022

      This was fine, not great -- more proof perhaps that bok choy is just not our favorite vegetable. I'm not crazy about the flavor of white pepper, which comes through in such a simple preparation. Caveat that I didn't use a flame to get the "wok hei" effect as suggested.

  • Stir-fried napa cabbage with vinegar and chiles

    • Emily Hope on March 31, 2022

      Made this with plain old green cabbage and it was delicious -- cabbage really seems to benefit from a stir-fry preparation. Super simple to put together.

    • ebalk02 on October 18, 2022

      Really simple and delicious. Will make again. Definitely worth doing in an actual wok for the high heat.

  • Stir-fried kimchi pork

    • Emily Hope on March 31, 2022

      This was reasonably good, though not as well-liked as the Chungking pork stir-fry. To be fair, I used white Kimchi (cooking for spice - averse family members), which I'm sure made a difference. Super easy to put together. Served with rice and stir-fried cabbage.

  • Better-than-my-mom's Chungking pork

    • Emily Hope on March 31, 2022

      This was a huge hit with my family, especially R. Made as written, using pork tenderloin we had in the freezer. Slicing, washing, and marinating the pork took the most time, and everything else was a snap. Will definitely repeat. Served with rice and stir-fried bok choy.

    • hirsheys on April 01, 2022

      Very good - was super impressed by the professional wok hei type flavor that I got using Kenji’s method. The only change I’d make next time would be to cook the cabbage longer - 2 minutes didn’t get it “translucent” and I would have liked it a bit more silky. Very quick recipe, too, especially now that I know how to make it!

    • PanNan on May 20, 2022

      Good. The pork was very tender. I cooked the cabbage a few minutes longer to cook the stems a bit more and that worked out well. Overall, I thought the sauce needed something. Perhaps a touch of vinegar or wine to brighten the flavor.

    • Skamper on April 28, 2022

      I'd hoped for more flavor from this. The pork marinated all day in the refrigerator.

  • Dan dan noodles

    • Emily Hope on April 21, 2022

      These noodles were delicious -- perfect combo of savory and spicy. Easy to put together, too, though I cheated by using Fly By Jing chili oil. I upped the pork to 12 ounces, and made half the sauce without chili oil for A and the kiddos. R proclaimed it better than my lasagna -- high praise. Served with stir-fried cabbage, onion, and bell peppers.

  • Pad see ew with chicken

    • Emily Hope on April 12, 2022

      Did a head-to-head comparison with the recipe from Night + Market and found that the Night + Market sauce was better (maybe it's the Thai seasoning sauce?), but preferred the technique here, which stir-fries the greens and noodles separately and combines them at the end. This left the noodles more intact. This one also has garlic, which I'd probably include again. Subbed in fried tofu for the chicken. Still didn't get the greatest wok hei (maybe I'll try putting the wok on my grill), but otherwise this compares pretty favorably to most takeout versions we can get, and is pretty easy to put together. Getting fresh, refrigerated rice noodles to be pliable again is the only fiddly part.

  • Basic vegetable and egg fried rice

    • Astrid5555 on September 24, 2022

      Works like a charm every time, perfect fried rice recipe!

    • Cookie24 on November 08, 2022

      I added chicken (using Basic Stir-Fy Marinade for any Meat recipe - page 50) to this rice dish, I also substituted shallot for the onion. Next time, I will reduce the oil slightly because it really wasn't necessary. This rice was easy to make and the flavor was perfect.

    • et12 on February 11, 2023

      An excellent recipe with good guidance. Really good comfort food. I agree with other comments that amount of oil seems high but it didn’t taste heavy.

    • ashallen on August 07, 2022

      Really nicely balanced fried rice. Good ratio of rice to "other stuff" - not overloaded but not too spare, either. Recipe calls for a fair amount of oil but it wasn't heavy or greasy and had a nice light texture. Comforting flavors. I accidentally folded the egg on itself while trying to flip it (so slippery!), but final texture was still great. My husband prefers onion to be very well cooked so I cooked the carrots and onions longer than called for in recipe.

  • Sichuan-style fish-fragrant eggplant

    • bernalgirl on September 07, 2023

      The recipe yields wonderfully charred eggplant in an addictive sauce. I added bakes tofu in tiny dice in place of the pork and was pleased with the umami flavors and textures.

  • Beef with broccoli

    • bernalgirl on October 01, 2023

      This is a remarkably good and easy dish, even following the very specific instructions. I doubled the sauce and would do so again. This is going into the regular rotation.

    • aileent1 on November 11, 2022

      Wonderful. One of the first recipes I made after I got my high-powered outdoor wok burner and it didn't disappoint!

    • aileent1 on November 11, 2022

      Forgot to add that I used extra broccoli and felt like it needed it.

    • imaluckyducky on February 10, 2023

      4.5 stars. Sauce was very good, should have doubled the amount of broccoli. Used filets cut cross-grain with great success. Picky 7yo ate it, will definitely make again!

    • rmardel on October 03, 2023

      This is a very good version of this dish. Note that I added a generous amount of scallions, as mentioned in the head-note even though they are not listed in the actual recipe. This will go in regular rotation. Extra sauce is a plus here, and I am happy with equal weights of beef and broccoli, although the dish also works well with the proportions listed.

    • lkgrover on September 02, 2022

      Agreed that this was delicious, equal to Chinese restaurant quality. I used beef skirt steak.

    • Cookie24 on November 08, 2022

      The headnote for this recipe says the flavors of garlic, ginger and scallions are prominent. Interestingly, there are no scallions listed in the ingredients or in the directions. Additionally, the directions say to cook until the "chicken" is cooked through (recipe is Beef Broccoli). Putting aside the editing errors, this recipe is easy and delicious. I used rib eye (what I had on hand) and added leeks (needed to use); served with steamed Jasmine rice. Everyone loved it.

    • FriedDumpling on April 02, 2022

      This was so seemingly simple, yet absolutely delicious. Once the broccoli was blanched, prep went very quickly, so it’s good to make sure rice and side dishes are ready by the time you start stir frying. I used Rib-eye, because I had some already, and used half the amount of beef with a full amount of broccoli and sauce. Because I used a more tender meat than specified, it was cut a little thicker, cross grain.

  • Rice cakes with pork, shrimp, pine nuts, and vegetables

    • bernalgirl on September 07, 2023

      I had the leftovers for breakfast and hope there’s still enough for lunch tomorrow. Following Kenji’s directions - if not the ingredients— to the letter, the rice cakes soften and crisp beautifully. I used a few cups of vegetables had cut to the appropriate dimensions for slaw: Napa Cabbage, carrots, radish, and celery. I didn’t have shrimp and I impulsively added a tablespoon of oyster sauce. I look forward to making this one again, with the shrimp for flavor and texture dimension

    • wcassity on April 10, 2022

      Not our favorite; didn’t quite come together. Too oily; didn’t love the rice cakes.

  • Easy tortilla "jian bing"

    • bernalgirl on September 12, 2023

      A quick and tasty snack or breakfast. I combined bean sauce and hoisin as I didn’t want a sweet profile, and the result is very savory with just a slight hint of sweet.

  • Spicy Korean rice cake stew with kimchi (Gungmul tteokbokki)

    • bernalgirl on September 28, 2023

      This was a slam-dunk with my family — they loved the chewy rice cakes and spicy savory sweet sauce. I wanted a one-wok meal so I added blanched cut up romano beans and carrots, which worked well. It was on the table in ~30 minutes from entering the kitchen. My 10 yo had the leftovers for breakfast.

  • Perfectly poached chicken breasts

    • bernalgirl on October 01, 2023

      Great technique resulting in flavorful chicken breasts with firm, not flabby, skin.

    • Fyretigger on July 18, 2022

      Poaching method is easy and works great. And the method is relatively forgiving. I was afraid the flame was too low (after decreasing it and letting it rest a bit) and I increased it and it went back up to a full simmer. The chicken still came out very juicy and tender with ice bath shocking.

  • Fragrant scallion-ginger oil

    • bernalgirl on October 01, 2023

      I love virtually every version of this condiment, which is outstanding with poached chicken and rice cooked with chicken stock in the manner of Hainanese chicken rice.

  • Easy pork fried rice with corn and shishito peppers

    • wcassity on April 10, 2022

      Delicious! Great technique and great mix of flavors and textures.

  • Thai-style stir-fried Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce and bacon (Pad khana bacon krop)

    • twoyolks on December 17, 2022

      I made this with bacon and the smokiness of the bacon added a weird flavor note to the broccoli.

  • Thai-style stir-fried ground pork with basil (Pad bai horapa or pad ka-prao)

    • twoyolks on December 17, 2022

      This was pretty squarely in the pretty good category. There felt like an ingredient, like lime juice, was missing in the finished dish.

    • ebalk02 on August 25, 2023

      A pretty good rendition, and nice with some lime and nam prik pla.

    • Ishie1013 on August 16, 2022

      OMG this was simply amazing without a lot of ingredients. I ground the pork myself since the market was out and then used the crispy egg recipe along with some chili crisp to top it, delicious. And came together quickly.

    • Stephenn31 on October 13, 2022

      Made with cabbage I had in the fridge instead of the green beans and it turned out well. I added heat after with sambal olek

  • Sichuan hot and numbing chile oil (Málà)

    • aileent1 on June 03, 2022

      This was quite a bit more work than other chili oils I've made, but well worth it! I've been putting it on everything. I used a mixture of facing heaven chilis, lantern chilis, guajillos, and New Mexican red dried chilis plus a mixture of gochugaru and ground facing heaven chilis to finish. Those are chilis I had on hand. Spectacular flavor!

  • San Francisco-style Vietnamese American garlic noodles

    • emiliang on February 02, 2023

      Quick, delicious, and comforting. I added some chopped baby bok choy when I heated up the noodles in boiling water (I used fresh/cooked Thai noodles rather than spaghetti. Much faster!)

    • lkgrover on August 06, 2022

      Good recipe for a quick meal with only pantry ingredients (if your pantry is typically well stocked with Asian sauces).

    • anya_sf on July 30, 2022

      Easy to scale down for 1 serving. I added shrimp (peeled) with the garlic, cooking the mixture a little longer, making sure not to brown the garlic, and also added cooked broccoli florets at the end. Delicious, quick, and easy, and the flavor was spot on.

  • Home-style tomato and scrambled eggs

    • rmardel on October 03, 2023

      Delicious, savory, and complex yet also comforting, these eggs are fabulous, and they are simple enough I can imagine eating them almost any time. I made this with fresh garden tomatoes but the technique would work well with so-so tomatoes also. The flavor is satisfying both to those of us who like a more savory breakfast (me) as well as those who want soft, relatively bland, comfort food in the morning (most of my family). Don't let the list of ingredients put you off; this is a fast and delicious meal for any time of day, whenever you need something satisfying in a hurry. Also good with a sprinkling of chiles or herbs on top.

    • ashallen on July 29, 2022

      Good comfort-food type dish. Seasoning well after cooking helped the otherwise mild flavors come alive. Worked fine with so-so tomatoes - I'll look forward to trying it again with really good ones. I didn't have the optional fish sauce on hand, but I think it'd be great for adding another flavor layer. Making a half-recipe worked fine. Recipe suggests serving with plain white rice, but I enjoyed eating it with a spicy, tomato-y fried rice - the mild eggs balanced out the spicy rice really nicely.

  • Ginger beef (with or without snow peas)

    • rmardel on October 03, 2023

      This was very good, and I would recommend it to those who like a saucy dish. I however prefer the dry-fry version by Grace Young in Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge

  • Shredded beef with hot peppers and chiles

    • rmardel on October 03, 2023

      This was fabulous, perhaps the beef with chiles of my dreams! I didn't shred the beef, an oversight, but it was still delicious, a symphony of flavors. The combination of a variety of fresh chiles, pickled chiles, and dried is genius and there is ample room to play around with the specific varieties of peppers to suit individual tastes. This is definitely going in regular rotation.

  • Bacon and egg fried rice

    • JuneHawk on January 20, 2023

      Very good, but a bit on the greasy side. I would add less oil upfront to cook the egg. Also, the recipe says it serves 2 but it does not as a main dish.

    • ashallen on August 26, 2022

      This fried rice has delicious bacon-y flavor, but it's very rich - the rice grains glisten! For that reason, I liked this best as an accompaniment to less-rich foods versus the main dish. I wandered into the recipe without thinking very precisely about how much fat would render from the bacon, all of which the recipe has you retain while also calling for vegetable oil for pre-bacon rendering steps. The next time I make this, I'll change the cooking order, rendering the bacon first, and see if that allows me to skip adding the vegetable oil.

  • Chinese-style lo mein with oyster sauce, lettuce, and butter

    • lkgrover on April 15, 2023

      Quick Chinese noodle recipe. I substituted spinach for lettuce (and chopped it so I could have some greens in every bite).

  • Fried broccoli with honey and balsamic vinegar

    • lkgrover on April 13, 2022

      Good broccoli side dish; not as sweet as I expected. I cooked the broccoli for the suggested time, and added the shallots & pine nuts for the last 60 seconds (to avoid burning them).

  • Thai-style beef with basil and fish sauce

    • lkgrover on June 19, 2023

      Good Thai beef stir-fry with aromatic vegetables & Thai basil.

  • Pepper steak

    • lkgrover on June 01, 2022

      Excellent stir-fry. His velveting technique (for meat) is simple but makes a huge impact.

    • PanNan on June 23, 2022

      Absolutely delicious! I added about 1 1/2 tsp of seeded, very thinly sliced, hot red Asian long pepper which I happened to have on hand. It wasn’t too hot, but had a nice kick. The flavor of this dish was spot on and the meat was very tender. My husband and I agreed that it was the best pepper steak we’ve ever tasted anywhere. A keeper for sure.

  • Orange peel beef, by way of Sichuan and Old New York

    • bwhip on May 31, 2022

      Very tasty, not too difficult. I couldn’t find Chen Pi, so used mandarin peels instead. I think it needs about double the amount of sauce. Speaking of the sauce, it seemed odd that the recipe never said to remove aromatics like the cinnamon stick, star anise, chiles, peel, etc. I removed them just before adding the beef.

  • Sesame chicken noodles my way (or your way)

    • anya_sf on August 01, 2022

      Baking soda really does improve the texture of the noodles (I used linguine). Made with leftover roasted chicken, double the cucumber, plus a julienned carrot, this was quick, easy, and really good.

    • Skamper on October 20, 2023

      This was on the edge of being too much work for me on a weeknight. My instincts told me 2 quarts of water was too much to poach one boneless skinless breast, and by the time the water boiled the chicken was overcooked. I'll use my usual method next time. The noodles and sauce were very good. Next time I'd use a bit less than a full pound of spaghetti so it's a little saucier; just personal preference. This recipe would also accommodate the addition of other vegetables, perhaps blanched.

  • Northern Thai-style curry chicken and noodle soup (Khao soi)

    • katiesue28 on September 02, 2022

      Absolutely delicious and deceptively easy. I used a chicken breast that I shredded after cooking in the curry. Be careful about the chilies; I used the dried thai chilies I had on hand (not the mild ones listed in the recipe), and even after lowering the quantity by a bit, the result was still very spicy!

  • Mixed greens with savory sesame-ginger vinaigrette

    • Kinhawaii on February 28, 2023

      Delicious on vegetables. Used white miso which was on hand. Will definitely make again. Added more sugar because we prefer it a little less salty & more sweet.

  • Japanese side salad with carrot and ginger dressing

    • Baxter850 on June 05, 2022

      Nailed the Japanese/sushi restaurant salad dressing. Good but not my favorite ginger dressing.

  • Sweet and spicy miso dip

    • lean1 on March 30, 2022

      Quick and easy dip that tastes wonderful. Making it is a snap. I can use this on everything!

  • Shanghai-style sesame noodles (Ma jiang miàn)

    • lean1 on June 03, 2023

      Made exactly as written with sesame paste. Wonderful flavors melded together. I will use this on cucumber salad, tomatoes and pasta salads.

  • Egg drop soup

    • pattyatbryce on September 28, 2023

      Very nice and super easy using his cheat broth listed in the notes. I reduced the corn starch a bit and liked it more.

  • Simple panfried tofu with soy-garlic dipping sauce

    • patioweather on August 25, 2022

      Very simple tofu preparation (as promised!) The sauce wasn't my favorite, so we topped with chili crisp instead.

  • Ajitsuke tamago

    • patioweather on April 30, 2023

      Made perfect eggs, with a gooey yolk. I marinated only 3-4 hours, and they were fine.

  • Japanese fried noodles (Yakisoba)

    • patioweather on August 30, 2022

      I liked this more than other recipes I have tried. The sauce is more like a tonkatsu and most other recipes seem to be primarily soy sauce. I put all the optional toppings. I didn't include pork belly or any other protein but used bacon fat as my grease.

  • Chinese American kung pao chicken

    • patioweather on April 01, 2022

      This is the closest that I have ever gotten to Chinese restaurant food at home.

    • ashallen on October 16, 2022

      As promised in the recipe title, this is a take-out style dish - though very high quality and pleasant take-out! The chunks of pepper added a nice juiciness. We don't handle spicy-hot very well, so I used only 2 versus 8 dried chiles. I missed the stronger flavors of more traditional versions of this dish, so I'm looking forward to trying the Gong Bao Ji Ding recipe that the author has in this book.

    • Fyretigger on April 24, 2022

      All the techniques worked great. It was tasty, but not the Kung Pao I love, not 'write home about'. I used chicken breast instead of thighs (defrosted the wrong package), and it turns out, Thick Soy Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce are not the same thing -- oops. So I will give it another try.

  • Sichuan-style cold noodles

    • Skamper on April 27, 2022

      A pretty easy, flavorful weeknight dish. I used the air drying method rather than rinsing. I used only 1 tsp of Sichuan peppercorns and a pinch of crushed red pepper because we are wimps. Also subbed a heaping teaspoon of splenda for the granulated sugar. next time I'll try adding the sesame paste, and maybe some chopped spinach.

  • Pickled chiles

    • Skamper on November 05, 2022

      I made this with jalapenos and have found they're great in any number of things. I chopped the chilis to fit more easily in the container.

  • Cucumber and dill salad with yogurt and chile oil

    • Skamper on April 28, 2022

      An easy and tasty side dish.

    • briesposito on January 21, 2023

      This felt a bit heavy to me. Next time I’d probably use half the olive oil (if any at all) and double the vinegar.

  • Kung pao shrimp

    • BayAreaKitchenDabbler on January 10, 2023

      This was excellent. Added ~1 lb veggies and doubled amt of sauce and garlic & ginger.

    • Ishie1013 on August 17, 2022

      This trick with pre chilling the shrimp with baking soda really made them pop. This came together quickly and was delightfully flavorful. I used rice vinegar, regular soy sauce, but did have the rice wine. Great weeknight meal.

  • Pico's not-so-bland chicken

    • Sbilinski on June 22, 2023

      Really good and easy.

  • Velvet chicken with snap peas and lemon-ginger sauce

    • ebalk02 on April 29, 2023

      Echoing the previous comment. Chicken and veg (I used asparagus) were perfectly cooked. It's a very gentle flavor. I ended up adding a bit of additional sesame oil at the end per my own taste.

    • ccanderson210 on September 08, 2022

      Made with brocolli instead of snap peas. Was very tasty. It was very mild with pronounced notes of ginger and lemon. The chicken was moist and soft. The veg had bite and crunch.

  • Moo shu pork

    • ebalk02 on May 02, 2022

      Pretty solid. I liked the texture of the different mushrooms in the mix.

  • Cumin lamb

    • ebalk02 on February 27, 2023

      Lamb was really tender and flavorful. Didn't get the crust (maybe too much oil) but was still delicious. Added a pinch of sugar toward the end to temper the spice. Would make again - preferably with fresher sichuan peppercorns for maximum tingle. Served with rice and blanched gai lan.

  • Poached chicken and cabbage salad with cashews and miso dressing

    • ebalk02 on November 08, 2022

      Easy to put together, light and healthy, but the flavor just wasn't hitting. Improved with a sprinkle of sugar and a drizzle of sesame oil. Not sure I'll make this one again.

  • Blistered green bean fried rice

    • ebalk02 on August 13, 2023

      Delicious and simple. Added some shrimp for extra protein. Would make again.

  • Nasi goreng: the funkiest of fried rices

    • ebalk02 on February 24, 2023

      I thought this was pretty great. K felt it could have been funkier. Will maybe try a bit more shrimp paste next time.

  • Oyakodon

    • ebalk02 on April 27, 2022

      A very warm, comforting and easy to execute dish. Instructions switch from pan to pot midway through the recipe but I doubt it matters.

  • Nam pla prik

    • ebalk02 on August 25, 2023

      SALTY. But then again it's just flavored fish sauce. A nice condiment to be used sparingly.

  • Sweet and sour pork

    • ashallen on August 24, 2022

      This recipe definitely channeled memories of take-out sweet and sour for me with its straightforward sweetness. Unlike take-out sweet and sour, however, this recipe has a very nice, non-gloppy sauce (and lots of it). I like sweet flavors in general but ended up adding a bunch of additional salt and soy sauce to help balance out the sweetness. I'm not the world's biggest sweet and sour fan, however. My husband (who *is* a big fan) thought it was great. I couldn't get an 8-10 oz can of pineapple and used 155 g pineapple and 9 tbsp pineapple juice from a 14 oz can instead and that worked well. If you use a carbon steel wok, beware - I thought the seasoning on mine was pretty thick, but this dish was vinegary enough to chew into it!

  • Kimchi or sauerkraut buchimgae (Korean-style pancakes)

    • jfroydr on April 19, 2022

      Very good and easy to make :)

  • Egg fried rice with "the mix"

    • sbrooksh on December 29, 2022

      Very good, though double the sauces

  • How to cook rice without a rice cooker or pressure cooker

    • Fyretigger on April 24, 2022

      So I used a rice cooker (Tiger), but JKLA's water:rice ratios, cooking basmati rice. Cooking 2 'cups' of rice, using JKLA's ratio, the pot ended up at the 3 cup line for white rice, where I normally would have filled to the 2 cup line. But the race came out perfect -- better than using the rice cooker levels. I'm printing out his chart and pasting it inside the cupboard door.

  • Sichuan-style hot and sour wontons (Suanla chaoshou)

    • Fyretigger on June 02, 2022

      I’m really looking forward to trying this. This dish looks like it was probably the inspiration for the ‘Flaming Red WonTons’ that used be available at PF Changs, which I miss.

  • Hot and sour chile sauce for wontons, noodles, or dumplings

    • Fyretigger on July 19, 2022

      Very good. And this recreates for me the Flaming Red Won Tons that PF Chang's used to serve

  • Soy-glazed mushrooms

    • Fyretigger on April 23, 2022

      Accidentally doubled the sesame oil, but it didn't seem to detract from the results, it didn't jump out at you.

  • Basic velveting

    • Fyretigger on May 12, 2022

      The velveting technique worked very well. It was a bit messy. In the future I would use a separate pan for the velveting, so I don't have to clean a hot wok before stir frying.

  • Shredded chicken with pickled chiles and carrots

    • Fyretigger on April 25, 2022

      Good flavor but pretty hot (I used 3 Thai bird chiles in the 1-6 recommendation). You need a generous amount of rice to go with. Be aware that when you add the sauce, the capsaicins aerosolize. My range hood wasn't powerful enough to carry it away and I got a bit of a throatful.

  • Muu shu (moo shi) mushrooms

    • Fyretigger on May 15, 2022

      Restaurant taste. Julienning pork is challenging and mine was about twice the size it should have been. Recipe calls for too much white pepper for my taste.

  • Water-boiled beef

    • Fyretigger on June 04, 2022

      This recipe references Fuchsia Dunlop's as inspiration, but hers appears with a different enough name that it took some searching to find. It is this: Boiled beef slices in a fiery sauce (Shui zhu niu rou)

  • My mom's Japanese-style mapo tofu

    • jenburkholder on December 31, 2022

      Good, in a soft, sweet way. Calling it mapo tofu is probably a little misleading - there’s no chiles or peppercorns to be found - but it was still enjoyable. Subbed Impossible for ground beef.

  • Thai-style tofu with green beans and red curry paste (Pad prik king)

    • jenburkholder on June 03, 2022

      Very good, great example of this stir-fry. Used homemade curry paste (the recipe in this book) and that was delicious, but it would probably also be good with store-bought. Will make again.

  • Sichuan smashed cucumber salad

    • jenburkholder on June 09, 2022

      Very tasty and fresh cucumber salad. Well-balanced. Had with ma po tofu.

    • Saltbun on October 15, 2023

      Super easy to throw together, we make it often as a side

  • Stir-fried fish with ginger and scallions

    • jenburkholder on April 11, 2022

      This was fine, but we won’t repeat it. The seasonings are simple and it’s fast to make, but we weren’t sold on the flavor or texture of stir-fried fish.

  • Simmered daikon radish (Daikon no nimono)

    • jenburkholder on March 30, 2022

      Pleasant daikon recipe. The chunks suggested are too big, though - cut smaller. Took much longer to cook and still wasn’t as tender as it should have been.

  • Japanese beef and potato stew (Nikujaga)

    • jenburkholder on March 30, 2022

      Enjoyable. Although it’s probably supposed to be like this, it did skew a bit sweet for our tastes. Used slightly more meat.

  • Noodles with Thai basil and peanut pesto

    • jemse on January 17, 2023

      I wanted to like this more than I did. It was okay, but seemed unbalanced--I got mostly fish sauce, garlic and chilies. Not herby or gingery enough. I may try it again with several tweaks.

  • Tofu lettuce cups with pine nuts and hoisin sauce (San choi bao)

    • luluinphilly on April 30, 2022

      This is admittedly a lot of chopping and dicing, but the reward is a little bit PFChangs and a little bit gourmet with the addition of pine nuts. Our ice berg lettuce was riddled with worms, so we used tortillas and it became a sort of burrito/moo shu mashup.

  • Mapo tofu

    • Josefa_Mark on August 05, 2022

      Delicious and not difficult.

  • Kimchi and Spam fried rice

    • ccanderson210 on January 03, 2023

      This was amazing. It was really full of flavor and umami. I highly recommend including the optional crispy fried egg.

    • Stephenn31 on February 10, 2023

      Delicious and just what I wanted! My kimchi didn’t have much juice so I added extra fish sauce at the end for funk and salt, and I didn’t have a fresh red chili so I added gochujang instead

  • Red curry with mushrooms, pumpkin, and tofu

    • ccanderson210 on November 04, 2022

      Very tasty with a fun mix of textures. We used pre-made jarred curry paste. It was not very spicy

  • Cantonese superior soy sauce noodles (with bean sprouts and scallions)

    • Stephenn31 on April 05, 2023

      Really easy and turned out well! I only had Chinese wheat noodles on hand and they worked well (I was not going out in an ice storm just for different noodles!) - I would have left them in the wok a bit longer to fry up more in the first solo flip. Added some egg before the noddles and veg went back in for protein

  • Beef chow fun on a home burner (the torch method)

    • Stephenn31 on January 28, 2023

      Delicious - I made on a gas’s burner with wok instead of blow torch but delicious and the beef was really tender

  • Vietnamese shrimp and rice noodle salad with citrus and herbs (Bun tron tom)

    • Stephenn31 on November 12, 2023

      I didn't make with the citrus. But it was a delicious alternative to the usual grilled pork noodle bowl.

  • Vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon (Do chua)

    • Stephenn31 on November 12, 2023

      Really easy, and turned out excellent even after a few hours of marinating.

  • Nuoc cham

    • Stephenn31 on November 12, 2023

      Easy to make, and didn't require heating as some do. Nice, balanced flavour

  • Chinese American stir-fried lo mein with shiitake, chives, and charred cabbage

    • LifeofPie on April 25, 2023

      A little to saucy for me, so I would hold back on using the entire bowl of sauce until I have tasted first. I thought that I had lo mein noodles but had to sub spaghetti with baking soda as directed in another part of the book. That wok got ripping hot so turn on the hood fan and open a window. That said, it turned out well.

  • Korean soft tofu and kimchi soup (Kimchi soondubu jjigae)

    • Logan92995 on January 06, 2023

      Smells delicious. Unfortunately, while the soup was good, it was lacking a little bit of flavor. Possibly needed a bit more salt or shoyu. Also spicy but not unbearably so

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  • ISBN 10 0393541215
  • ISBN 13 9780393541212
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Mar 08 2022
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 656
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher W. W. Norton & Company

Publishers Text

J. Kenji López-Alt’s debut cookbook, The Food Lab, revolutionized home cooking, selling more than half a million copies with its science-based approach to everyday foods. And for fast, fresh cooking for his family, there’s one pan López-Alt reaches for more than any other: the wok.

Whether stir-frying, deep frying, steaming, simmering, or braising, the wok is the most versatile pan in the kitchen. Once you master the basics—the mechanics of a stir-fry, and how to get smoky wok hei at home—you’re ready to cook home-style and restaurant-style dishes from across Asia and the United States, including Kung Pao Chicken, Pad Thai, and San Francisco–Style Garlic Noodles. López-Alt also breaks down the science behind beloved Beef Chow Fun, fried rice, dumplings, tempura vegetables or seafood, and dashi-simmered dishes.

Featuring more than 200 recipes—including simple no-cook sides—explanations of knife skills and how to stock a pantry, and more than 1,000 color photographs, The Wok provides endless ideas for brightening up dinner.

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