STIR-FRY and THE WOK…Chinese Cooking Revisited

You know how one thing leads to another?  Well, yesterday my sister Mariya gave me some  snow peas from her garden.  I thought ‘what in the hell am I going to do with these’, and then remembered that I liked snow peas in a stir-fry.  So I went to the grocery store and picked up some veggies to go with them.  I forgot to get some tofu, and that bummed me out when I started cooking,  remembering  I liked tofu in my stir-fry.  I used to do a lot of stir-fry!

See, when I was in the middle of my mid-life crisis in the late ’70s I figured out that a great way to score with women, was to invite them to my house and cook them dinner.  I wasn’t wrong.  Unfortunately I only really knew Mexican and German cooking and they were not showy or sexy enough to impress.  So, I took cooking classes.  (also a great place to meet women)  I signed up for classes at William Glen in Sacramento.  A gourmet food and cookware/lifestyle store, they held classes in a kitchen/classroom at the back of the store.  Those guys were no dummies, as after class you had to pass all the merchandise to get out of the store… no easy feat to escape the cash register.   The instructors were first-rate… I took Italian from Biba Caggiano and Chinese from Martin Yan.  I decided that Chinese would be showy and Italian sexy.  My first class was Chinese taught by a young woman just arrived from Taiwan.  She lived in Chinatown in S.F. and came to town to teach the class.  She was very shy but a good teacher.  The recipes she gave the class were hand written and I still have them.

I took two classes from her and became quite adept at The Art of the Stir-fry, or so I thought. But, it was a lot of fun and I did like to show off.

I always served warm Sake (I know, not culturally correct) with Chinese and red wine with Italian.  And, always Ambrosia for dessert.  (I didn’t dress as a chef for my dates… I know you are thinking ‘What a Dork’)   A funny thing… years ago after I moved to Friday Harbor, a friend invited me to dinner at her house and did a stir-fry with tofu and stole my heart.   I’m thinking the tables were turned… had she heard my secret?

So yesterday I dug out my wok (which I bought on my way out of William Glen after my first class, proper stir-fry spatula too).  I don’t think I have used it for 10 years and was very unpleasantly surprised to find that it was all rusty.  And I don’t mean a little rusty… I mean a lot rusty.  I was ready for a little cleaning, but I ended up having to sand the rust out.  An hour later I had a clean if unbroken-in wok.  I paired some grilled chicken with a sesame orange glaze and the meal was a success.  Next up… The Mongolian Fire Pot!

So, it guess woking is a little like riding a bicycle… although I don’t remember as much food on the floor.

♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ ♨ 


Back when I was new to blogging, and writing anything, I posted this… it was my 5th story.  I thought my friends at the Moonshine Grid could use a little food.

15 responses

  1. good story ted, I bet it tastes great, peace out 😀

  2. ted, you look good in the chef uniform

  3. My, my! You look dashing in that suit!

  4. First off, I’m totally loving the chef pic! :p And yeah, it’s an awesome way to impress us chicks! (Especially those of the curvy persuasion, like me.) 😀

    I should REALLY take some cooking classes myself, but I’m such a slow chef and might not be able to keep up. So I’m a bit intimidated. You may change my mind yet, though!

    1. You should take a cooking class… beginning of course… Chinese is fun… The Italian I took was Northern, so no pastas. Greek is very labor intensive, but damn tasty! You and Kevin should take a class together… and then cook a dinner together… I bet it would be fun, you could have your Evil Twin and her Hubby over and impress them, or get drunk and laugh like hell!

  5. Ok Ted gotta give you props on the chef’s outfit. Looking good babe. That’s about all I got for ya though because I hate to cook. 😆 I CAN COOK, I just hate it. 😆

  6. Are you a writer?Very cool !Your article is really wonderful

  7. Trying to be, I guess… thanks for the kind words.

  8. I must say, I’m jealous you got to take a class from Martin Yan. I used to watch him on TV when I was a kid. I loved the show Yan Can Cook. Anyone who was in the same room with Martin Yan, I’m going to follow. Great post!

  9. So, did you get back in the habit of stir-fry after this?

  10. When you give Ted some snow peas…

    I think we have the next installment in a series!

  11. This reminds me I haven’t used my tagine in a long time. It collects dust on top of my refrigerator. I loved the chef picture too 🙂

  12. Ted, I love that pic of you dressed in a chef’s uniform. Honestly, I’m that kind of girl who would be smitten if I showed up for a date and he was wearing that. Totally rock star material.

  13. I agree with the others–that chef photo is great! I love ‘wokking’. It’s fast and easy, and delicious!

  14. I believe I have a wok parked way back in a cabinet that’s being used as a container for smaller pots. I think it’s time to use it! Thanks for the pic of you in the chef uniform. I think that’s inspired me.

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