Book Review: Techniques and Recipes for the Wok

The Wok: The Definitive Guide to Cooking with the Most Versatile Pan in Your Kitchen by J. Kenji López-Alt is a fantastic addition to any home cook’s collection. With over 200 recipes and more than 1,000 full-color photographs, this cookbook is perfect for those who love to experiment with different cuisines.

López-Alt, the author of the best-selling cookbook The Food Lab, is known for his science-based approach to cooking. In The Wok, he applies this method to the wok, the most versatile pan in the kitchen. Whether you’re stir-frying, deep frying, steaming, simmering, or braising, López-Alt shows you how to get the most out of your wok.

The first section of the book covers the basics, including the mechanics of stir-frying and how to get that sought-after smoky wok hei (flavor) at home. Once you’ve mastered these techniques, López-Alt takes you on a culinary journey across Asia and the United States. The recipes include everything from Kung Pao Chicken and Pad Thai to San Francisco–Style Garlic Noodles and Beef Chow Fun.

But that’s just the beginning. López-Alt breaks down the science behind other dishes, including fried rice, dumplings, tempura vegetables or seafood, and dashi-simmered dishes. He also includes simple no-cook sides, along with explanations of knife skills and how to stock your pantry.

What sets this cookbook apart from others is López-Alt’s attention to detail. For example, he includes a recipe for dashi, a Japanese stock made from kelp and bonito flakes, which is a key ingredient in many Japanese recipes. He also shows you how to make your own chili oil, which can be used in a range of dishes.

The photographs in The Wok are stunning. Every recipe is accompanied by a full-color photo that shows you exactly what the finished dish should look like. In addition, López-Alt provides step-by-step photos for some of the more complicated dishes, such as dumplings and scallion pancakes.

One of the standout features of The Wok is the thermal imaging photographs. López-Alt uses a thermal imaging camera to show you how the heat is distributed throughout the wok during cooking. This is particularly helpful for those who are new to stir-frying and want to make sure they’re using the right amount of heat.

The recipes in The Wok are easy to follow and include detailed instructions. López-Alt also provides tips and tricks throughout the book, such as how to properly season your wok and how to make sure your wok stays nonstick.

In summary, The Wok is a must-have cookbook for anyone who loves to cook. With its science-based approach, stunning photography, and comprehensive range of recipes, this cookbook is sure to become a staple in kitchens around the world. When it comes to producing quick, flavorful meals, the wok beats every other pan in the kitchen, and López-Alt shows you how to use it to its full potential. So, get your wok out of the cabinet and start cooking!
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Price: $28.08
(as of Apr 01, 2023 18:15:42 UTC – Details)

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