Thursday, March 02, 2006


Margy gave me a Le Creuset wok for Christmas. The thing is amazing. Stately, heavy as an anvil, and pleasantly rough to the touch, it's one of the most charismatic cooking vessels I've ever seen (the other items on that list are Le Creuset too). And the best part is that it shouldn't be scrubbed or washed with soap, which means that as we cook with it, it will accumulate the wisdom of countless meals gone by.

Don't worry -- I'm not saying I'm not going to clean it.

Tonight we needed a respite from winter decadence, a break from butter and fat and meat. Cue the wok. I whipped up a quick stir-fry with shrimp and (parboiled) string beans. I started the dish with onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies, added the string beans and then the shrimp, and hit it near the end with a sauce of fermented black beans, soy sauce, sugar, and sake.

I'm not quite used to the fact that this particular wok is designed to cook over medium, rather than high, heat. I think of stir-frying as fast and hot. This was more like sorta fast and kinda hot, so the process took longer than expected, and I'm afraid I called a hungry Margy to the table a bit prematurely. I will continue to heed the advice of Le Creuset, but next time I'll boost the heat just a bit and see what happens.

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