I’ve been meaning to do a wok post since David Tiley bought a flash Titanium one. I’m sure he was being modest but I was concerned his fridge emptying approach wasn’t on par with the high quality mix of his blog.

A bit of general didacticism on wok cooking from tonight’s meal (and of course those who already know this will enjoy the opportunity to have their knowledge validated).


Stir fries should be over in a few minutes so everything has to be ready to go.

The base is ginger (peeled gently with a teaspoon-see santos) and chopped; garlic -crushed; spring onions – whites only, sliced.

Fried Tofu: boiling hot water poured over it to remove the oil and sliced.

Chinese Veges: stalks separated from leaves and both chopped in halves or thirds.

Egg Noodles: left to sit for a minute or so in boiling water.

Condiments: soy and oyster sauce. A teaspoon Toubanjan spicy bean paste can be added at the start with the base ingredients.

Wok: heat to smoking and then add the oil and up to almost smoking again. It’s got to be hot or it’s a sautee.


Toss in the base ingredients, stir and toss for 30 seconds, add the tofu and keep stirring for 20 seconds, add a splash of soy, and the add the stems. Continue stirring for another 30 seconds (the stems should look warm). Toss in the noodles, stir until warm, add a tablespoon of oyster sauce and stir it in adding the leaves. When they’ve softened slightly, serve. If the stems are hot and crunchy, you’ve done well. If not, try again.

Any other advice gladly taken.

Gear: Big cast iron thing from an asian supermarket with a bandage wrapped around one of the handles to allow grabbing.


  1. Santos’s avatar

    good to see this written down–i always forget to tell people the hot wok, cold oil thingy.

    also, if yr going for the cast iron and not the hoity-toity titanium bionic one, it should be seasoned just like a cast iron skillet before use.

  2. tokyo goat’s avatar

    Børk! Børk! not well known for the stir fry but the
    image came to me all the same after these fast and furious instructions.

  3. Anthony’s avatar

    Santos, thanks for that reminder, it’s worth a post on its own – When dishwashing liquid is your enemy”

    Andrew is this U-Boat Kommandant “[Børk! Børk!] Himmel! Depth Charges!”? or phonetic rendition of Icelandic pixie singer?

  4. tokyo goat’s avatar

    the image I had of you, flippin’and flingin’ the stir fry in a fast and furious furore.

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    *WOW* – lazy people quick click here.

  6. Santos’s avatar

    its ell ebuoot zee svedeesh cheff beby. oooot tu cunqooer zee vurld!

  7. Anonymous’s avatar

    Its David T.

    Thanks for that. I’ve evolved a wok technique which is pretty similar, but its great to see it written down exactly. And yes, the hot wok and cold oil is pretty crucial.

    Sometimes I use white block tofu and fry it myself where it forms slightly crunchy chiplike bricks which are lighter than they look. HOT wok.

    I have discovered, apropos of slightly different food, the virtues of Screaming Jets seed mixtures and mustard oil, which has a nifty aromatic edge and tang.

    My cooking does vary a heap. If I take trouble I do well, but often we just graze..

  8. AnthonyJ’s avatar

    Swedish doesn’t even have an ø. When oh when will people see?! Do you really want him to be the Danish (or Norwegian) Chef?
    I don’t think so.

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Actually its a credit to you gentle readers that no-one has gone “ewwww tofu”.

    The tofu cooking sounds perfect but if anyone who has had plain tofu dissolve into a crumbled mess, it can be firm up by draining on a chopping board at an angle with a weight on it to pressure ths liquid out. Otherwise the quick and nasty solution is to zap it in the microwave.

    “Screaming Jets” – what a name! Trails of into manly marketing fantasies…hmmm

    BTW We like “trouble” here

  10. Anonymous’s avatar

    I used to cook loads of stuff with a wok. It’s supposed to be quite healthy, if you keep the oil very hot, as it doesn’t get absorbed into the food. Chucking in some frozen peas adds adventure to the whole wok experience too.

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    True and there we get into the world of deep frying temperatures and why tempura batter is kept very cold.

    Blogger testing? What a pain in the arse, not even a notice somewhere.

  12. tokyo goat’s avatar

    ahh sorry. last night when the system was playing up I posted the same message twice. Deleted the second one and then realised the message was shite anyways.

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    Oi! I thought we had that little chat about selling ourselves short.

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