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Dallis 07-31-2011 03:52 AM

Chinese cooking
 
My wife and I love stirfrys and also fried rice and use a cast iron wok over gas flame .the wok is 15 years old and well seasoned,yet we cannot get the taste
to match Chinese restaurant food.we get very close but there seem to be a flavor missing.We buy our ingredients from a Chinese grocer yet feel that something is missing We would appreciate any assistance and advice that any one can offer.

tropical cooker 07-31-2011 04:10 AM

Check this out:

Umami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But remember that msg may cause certain bad health effects.

giggler 07-31-2011 06:14 AM

Sesame oil to finish the sauce?

Eric, Austin Tx.

EatLoveMove 07-31-2011 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tropical cooker
Check this out:

Umami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But remember that msg may cause certain bad health effects.

I agree with tropicalcooker....the only thing you're missing is MSG. In some people it causes allergic reactions, so that's why its not used do much in Western culture.

justplainbill 07-31-2011 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dallis (Post 1031483)
My wife and I love stirfrys and also fried rice and use a cast iron wok over gas flame .the wok is 15 years old and well seasoned,yet we cannot get the taste
to match Chinese restaurant food.we get very close but there seem to be a flavor missing.We buy our ingredients from a Chinese grocer yet feel that something is missing We would appreciate any assistance and advice that any one can offer.

Much Chinese - American cooking is done in carbon steel woks over high btu output gas rings which often have a foot operated flame control valve. The flame from such gas rings may achieve a maximum height of some 12".

Bolas De Fraile 07-31-2011 08:47 AM

MSG ?

Selkie 07-31-2011 09:51 AM

Cilantro?

powerplantop 07-31-2011 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dallis (Post 1031483)
My wife and I love stirfrys and also fried rice and use a cast iron wok over gas flame .the wok is 15 years old and well seasoned,yet we cannot get the taste
to match Chinese restaurant food.we get very close but there seem to be a flavor missing.We buy our ingredients from a Chinese grocer yet feel that something is missing We would appreciate any assistance and advice that any one can offer.

My wok collection includes nonstick, stainless steel, carbon steel and a cast iron wok. Now I mostly use the carbon steel and a cast iron woks. The carbon steel one I use the most is flatter is from South America and is called a disco. The cast iron woks are cantonese.

My nonstick and stainless one catch dust now.

The book that helped me the most is stir fry to the sky's edge. After reading this book my wok cooking greatly improved. I have others that I use but this is the one that got me over the hump.

I never use MSG.

I make my own Asian chicken stock and I think that this helps a lot.

Heat: Depending upon the dish high heat may be required. But not all dishes need extreme heat. I have an outdoor burner that gives a lot of heat. Your wok should be just starting to smoke before you add anything. Then you will need enough heat to bring it back to temp quickly. Then you will get a good sear and not boil your meat.

Use fresh garlic and ginger. The pre chopped or paste are not the same.

Here is an easy one you can try. ‪Kung Pao Chicken / Gong Bao Chicken‬‏ - YouTube

Hyperion 07-31-2011 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justplainbill (Post 1031515)
Much Chinese - American cooking is done in carbon steel woks over high btu output gas rings which often have a foot operated flame control valve. The flame from such gas rings may achieve a maximum height of some 12".

this.

I grew up in China and the only wok we use in my family is carbon steel wok. It doesn't hold heat, and gets hot/cools down fairly quickly, which is important in chinese cooking because you'll have to rapidly adjust your heat during cooking, and if it takes too long the food will be overcooked.

However, to get authentic chinese stirfry taste, you'll need a big ass gas burner. Not the one in your kitchen but the outdoor one. Alton Brown explained this in one of his episode, I think it's one of the squid episodes.

Claire 07-31-2011 04:33 PM

After having an experience watching Chinese chefs doing their thing up close and personal, one thing is that they use a lot more oil than you'd be led to believe. Lots more.

Horrible as it may sound to some, if you are tolerant of MSG (and you probably are if you feel fine after a restaurant meal), I agree it is one of the answers. I buy Maggi seasononing (yes, a form of MSG) when I'm going to stir fry beef or pork, and sprinkle it liberally with the seasoning after cutting, and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Then I put in a little cornstarch, toss, heat the oil, and go to town. I only stir-fry for the two of us, and neither have reactions to MSG (and it isn't like we eat it every day).

The biggest trick to stir frying is, to me, mis en place. Make sure all of your ingredients are cut, soaked (dried Asian mushrooms) and ready to go before you turn on a burner.


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