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

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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Easy pork fried rice with corn and shishito peppers

    • wcassity on April 10, 2022

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

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

    • wcassity on April 10, 2022

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • San Francisco-style Vietnamese American garlic noodles

    • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • Cucumber and dill salad with yogurt and chile oil

    • Skamper on April 28, 2022

      An easy and tasty side dish.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Moo shu pork

    • ebalk02 on May 02, 2022

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

  • Home-style tomato and scrambled eggs

    • 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.

  • Basic vegetable and egg fried rice

    • 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.

  • Kimchi or sauerkraut buchimgae (Korean-style pancakes)

    • jfroydr on April 19, 2022

      Very good and easy to make :)

  • 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

  • Perfectly poached chicken breasts

    • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sichuan smashed cucumber salad

    • jenburkholder on June 09, 2022

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Beef with broccoli

    • 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.

  • Mapo tofu

    • Josefa_Mark on August 05, 2022

      Delicious and not difficult.

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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

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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