Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Virtues of the Wok

Did I tell you? I love my wok!

Where did I get mine?

My local vendor of oriental supplies: Hoo Hing. (Ainsley Harriott, the excellent TV chef and guest star of  a recent Rocky Horror Show, loves the place as much as I do.) They stock a large range of Chinese kitchen equipment which means you can get the real thing.

Woks are made of thin steel sheet, so that as little as possible comes between you and the flame. But it's really the shape of the wok and the spade that comes with it for keeping contents on the move that is the wonder of the device. It has that quality, the one all good craft tools have: the look of what you might call "incorporated experience" It just looks like something that has evolved over a long time.

So - sweet chili sauce, canned water chestnuts, dried prawns, mushroom soy, tom yum paste, and fifty different sorts of noodle ... Looks like I'm going to be busy with my spade tonight.

And let's not forget the 24-pack of Tsingtao beer. You didn't know about Chinese beer? This brew takes me back to my time in Hong Kong when we used to get them for a HK dollar a bottle. Hong Kong can be hot and very humid at certain times of the year. That's when a throat cries out for Baltic ambrosia, or perhaps a good Chinese substitute. Tsingtao is just superb beer, and guess what, when chilled it goes perfectly with Chinese food.

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